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AT the close of the year 1 804, vdiilst I am still in posse^.- 
sion of my faculties, though full of years, I sit down to give 
a history of my life and writings. I do not undertake the 
task lightly and without deliberation, for I have weighed the 
difficulties, and am prepared to meet them. I have lived 
so long in this world, mixed so generally with mankind, and 
written so voluminously and so variously, that I trust my 
motives cannot be greatly misunderstood, if with strict 
attention to truth, and in simplicity of style, I pursue my 
narrative, saying nothing more of the immedi^ite object of 
these memoirs, than in honour and in conscience I am war- 
ranted to say. 

I shall use so little embellishment in this narrative, that 
if the reader is naturally candid he will not be disgtisted ; if 
he is easily amused he will not be disappointed. 

As I have been, through life, a negligent recorder of dates 
and events relating to myself, it is very possible I may fall 
into errors of memory as to the order and arrangement of 
certdn factfe and occurrences, but whilst I adhere to veracity 
in the relation of them, the trespass, I presume, will be 
readily overlooked, 

Of many persons, with whom I have had intercourse and 
connection, I shall speak freely and impartially. I know 
myself incapable of wantonly aspersing the characters of the 
living or the dead ; but, though I will not indulge myself in 
conjectures, I will not turn aside from facts, and neither from 
affectation of candour, nor dread of recrimination, wave the 


privilege v/hich I claim for myself in every page of this his- 
tory, of speaking tiie truth from my heart : I may not always 
say ail that I could, but I will never knowingly say of any 
man what I should not. 

As I am descended from ancestors illustrious for their 
piety, benevolence and erudition, I will not say I am not vain 
of that distinction ; but I will confess it would be a vanity, 
serving only to expose my degeneracy, were it accompanied 
with the inspiration of no vvorthier passion. 

Doctor Richard Cumberland, who was consecrated bishop 
of Peterborough in the year 1691, was my great grand- 
father. He v/as author of that excellent v/ork entitled Be 
JLegibiis Xatiirx^ in which he effectually refutes the impious 
tenets of Hobbes, and whilst he was unambitiously fulfilling 
the simple functions of a parish priest in the town of Stam- 
ford, the revolution having taken place, search v/as made 
after the ablest Protestant divines to fill up vacancies in the 
hierarchy, and rally round their late endangered church. — 
Without interest, and without a wish to emerge from his 
obscurity and retirement, this excellent man, the vindicator 
of the insulted laws of nature, received the first intelligence 
of his promotion from a paragraph in the public papers, and 
being then sixty years old, was with difficulty persuaded to 
accept the offer, when it came to him from authority. The 
persuasion of his fnends, particularly sir Orlando Bridge- 
man, at length overcame his repugnance, and to that see, 
though very rrioderately endovved, he for ever after devoted 
himself, and resisted every offer of translation, though re- 
peatedly made and earnestly reconkmended. To such of 
his friends as pressed an exchange upon him he was accus- 
tomed to reply, that Peterborough was his first espoused, 
and should be his only one ; and, in fact, according to his 
principles, no church revenue could enrich lam ; for I have 
heard my flither say, that at the end of every year, whatever 
overplus he found upon a minute inspection of his accounts, 
was by him distributed to the poor, reserving only one small 
deposit of t%\'enty-five pounds in cash, found at his death in 
his bureau, with directions to employ it for the discharge of 
his funeral expenses ; a sum, in his modest calculation, fully 
sufficient to commit liis body to the earth. 

Such was the humility of tiiis truly Christian prelate, and 
such his disinterested sentiments as to the appropriation of 
his episcopal reveaae. The wealthiest see could not have 



tempted liim to accumulate, the poorest sufficed for his ex- 
penses, and of those he had to spare for the poor. Yet he 
was hospitable in his plain and primitive style of living, and 
had a table ever open to his clergy and his friends : he had a 
sweetness and placidity of temper, that nothing ever rulticd 
or disturbed. I know it cannot be the lot of human creature 
to attain perfection, yet so wonderfully near did this good 
man approach to consummate rectitude, that unless benevo- 
lence may be carried to excess, no other faiiing was ever 
known to have been discovered in his character. His chap- 
Iain, Archdeacon Payne, who married one of his daughters, 
and Vvhom I am old enough to remember, makes this obser- 
vation in the ,short sketch of the bishop's lite, which he has 
prefixed to his edition of The Saichoniatho, This and his 
other works are in the hands of the learned, and cannot need 
any effort on my part to elucidate what they so clearly dis- 
play, the vast erudition and patient investigation of their 

The death of this venerable prelate v/as, like his life, 
serene and undisturbed : at the extended age of eigiity-six 
years and some months, as he was sitting in his library, he 
expired without a struggle, for he was found in the attitude 
of one asleep, with his cap fallen over his eyes, and a book in 
his hand, in which he had been reading. Thus, without the 
ordinary visitations of pain or sickness, it pleased God to 
terminate the existence of this exemplary man. 

He possessed his faculties to the last, verifying the only 
claim he was ever heard to makeas to mental-endowments ; 
for v/hiist he acknowledged himself to be gifted by nature 
with good wearing parts^ he made no pretensions to quick 
and brilliant talents, and in that respect he seems to have 
estimated himself very truly, as we rarely find such meek 
and modest qualities as he possessed, in men of warmer 
imaginations, and a brighter glow of genius with less solidity 
of understanding, and, of course, more liable to the influences 
of their passions. 

Bishop Cumberland v/as tlie son of a respectable citizen 
of London, and educated at Si. Paul's school, from whence 
he vras ailmitted of Magdalen College in Cambridge, where 
he pursued his studies, and was ejected fellow of that society, 
to. whiclv I had the honour to present a cof).y of that portrait 
-^cm v/hich the print hereunto annexed v/as taken. 

• .. . .. A 2 .:■'■. 


In the oriental langna?;es, in mathematics^ and even in 
anatomy, he v/as deeply learned ; in short, his mind was 
fitted for eialjorate and pro found researches, as his works 
more fully testify . It is to be lamented that his famous \vork, 
£)c Legibus J^litiira vras allowed to come before the public 
with so many and such glaring errors of the press, wiiich 
his absence and considerable distance from London disabled 
him from correcting-. I had a copy interleaved and correct^ 
edand amended throughout by Doctor Bentley, who, being 
en a visit to my father at his parsonage -house in Northamp- 
tonshire, undertook that kmd office, and completed it most 
eifectually. — >This book I gave, when last at Cambridge, to 
the library of Trinity College ; and if, 'by those means, it 
shall find a passport to the University press, I shall have 
^au t^e to congratulate myself for having so happily bestow- 
(ed it. 

Of Doctor Richard Bentley, my maternal grandfather, I 
shall next take leave to speak. Of him I have perfect re- 
collection. His person, his dignity, his language and his 
■ love fixed my early attention, and stamped both his image 
and his v>?ords upon my memory. His literary works are 
knoYfn to all, his private character is still misunderstood 
hy many ; to that I shall confine myself, and, putting aside 
the enthusiasm of a descendant, I can assert, with the vera- 
city of a biographer, that he was neither cynical, as some 
iiave represented him, nor overbearing and fastidious in the 
degree, as he has been described by many. Swift, when he 
foisted him into his vulgar Battle cf the Books^ neither lowers 
Bentley 's fame nor elevates his own ; and the petulant poet> 
v/ho thought he had hit his manner, when he made him 
haughtily call to Walker for his hat^ gave a copy as little like 
the character of Bentley, as his translation is like the original 
of Homer. That Doctor Walker, vice-master of Trinity- 
College, was the friend of my grandfather, and a frequent 
guest at his table, is true ; but it was not in Doctar Bent- 
ley's nature to treat him with contempt, nor did his harm- 
less character inspire it. As for the hat^ I must acknow- 
letb^e it was ef formidable dimensions, yet I was accustomed 
to treat it with great familiarity, and if it had ever been fur- 
ther from the hand of its owner than the peg upon the back 
*5f hi-? gre-at arm-chair, I might have been dispatched to fetch 
it, for he was disable<l by the palsy in his latter days ; but the 
hat never strayed from it& place, and Pope found an oi^ce fo? 



Walker, tliat I can well believe he was never commissioned 
to in his life. 

I had a sister somewhat older than myself. Had there 
been any of that sternness in my grandfather, which is so 
falsely imputed to him, it may well be supposed we should 
have been awed into silence in his presence, to which we 
were admitted every day. Nothing can be further from the 
truth ; he was the unwearied patron and promoter of all our 
childish sports and sallies ; at all times ready to detach him-- 
self from any topic of conversation to take an interest and 
bear his part in our amusements. The eager curiosity natu- 
ral to our age, and the questions it gave birth to, so teazing to 
many parents, he, on the contrary, attended to and encour- 
aged, as the claims of infant reason never to be evaded or 
abused ; strongly recommending, that to all such enquiries 
answer siiould be given according to tlie strictest truth, and 
information dealt to us in the clearest terms, as a sacred 
duty never to be departed from. I have broken in upon him 
many a time in his hours of study, when he v» ould put his 
book aside, ring his hand-beil for his servant, and be led to 
his shelves to take down a picture-book for my amusement. 
I do not say that his good nature always gained its object, as 
the pictures which his books generally supplied me with 
were anatomical drawings of dissected bodies, very little 
calculated to communicate delight ; but he had notlang bet- 
ter to produce ; and surely such an effort on his part, how- 
ever unsuccessful, was no feature of a cynic : a cynic should 
be made of sterner stuff. I have had fiom him, at times, 
whilst standing at his elbow, a complete and entertaming 
narrative of his school-boy days, with the characters of his 
different masters very humoursly displayed, and the punish- 
ments described, which they at times would wrongfully in- 
flict upon him for seeming to be idle and regardless of his 
task, " When the dunces," he would say, " could not dis- 
" cover that 1 was pondering it in my mind, and fixing it 
" more firmly in my memory, than if I had been bawling 
** it out amongst the rest of my school-fellows.'- 

Once, and only once, I recollect his giving me a gentle 
rebuke for making a most outrageous noise in the room over 
his library and disturbing him in his studies ; I had no ap- 
prehension of anger from him> and confidently answered 
that I could not help it, as I had been at battledore and shut- 
tleODck with Master Goacii> the Biiskc^ of Ely's son. ** Aoii 


" I have been at this sport with his father," he replied ; 
" But thine has been the more amusing game ; so there \s 
" no harm clone." 

These are puerile anecdotes, but my history itself is only 
in its nonage ; and even these will serve in some degree to 
establish what I piffirmed, and present his character in those 
mild and unimposing lights, which may prevail with those 
who know him only as a critic and controversialist— 

As slucihiiig Bcntly with his desfierate hookj 
to reform and soften their opinions of him. 

He recommended it as a very essential duty in parents 
to be particularly attentive to the first dawnings of reason 
in their children ; and his OAvn practice was the best illus- 
tration of his doctrine ; for he was the most patient hearer 
and most favourable interpreter of first attempts at argument 
and meaning that 1 ever knew. When I was rallied by my 
mother, for roundly asserting that I never shfit^ I remember 
full well his calling on me to account for it ; and when I 
explained it by saying I never knew myself to be asleep, 
and therefore supposed I never slept at all, he gave me cre- 
dit for my defence, and said to my mother, " Leave your 
" boy in possession of his opinion ; he has as clear a concep- 
'* tion of sleep, and at least as comfortable an one, as the phi- 
" losophers who puzzle their brains about it, and do not 
" rest so well." 

Though Bishop Lowth, in the flippancy of controversy 
called the author of The Philoleutherun LipsienpAs and detec^ 
tor of Phalaris aut Cajirimulgus aut Jhssor^ his genius has 
produced those living witnessess, that must for ever put 
that charge to shame and silence. Against such idle ill- 
considered words, now dead as the language they were con- 
veyed in, the appeal is near at hand ; it lies no further off 
than to his works, and they are upon every reading-man's 
shelves ; but those, who would have looked into his heart, 
should have stepped into his house, and seen him in his 
private and domestic hours ; therefot^e it is that I adduce 
these little anecdotes and trifling incidents, which describe 
the man, but leave the author ta^ defend himself. 

His ordinary style of conversation was naturally lofty, and 
his frequent use of thou and thee with his familiars ^carried 
with it a kind of dictatorial tone^ that savoured more of the 
closet than the court; this is readily admitted, and this en first 
approaches might mislead a stranger ; but the native can- 


dour and inherent tenderness of his heart could not long be 
veiled from observation for his feeUngs and affections were 
fit once too impulsive to be long repressed, and he too care- 
less of concealment to attempt at qualifying them. Such was 
his sensibility towards human sufferings, that it became a 
-duty with his family to divert the conversation from all topics 
of that sort ; and if he touched upon them himself he was 
betrayed into agitations, which if the reader ascribes to para- 
lytic weakness, he will very greatly mistake a man, who to 
.the last hour of his life possessed his faculties firm and in 
their fullest vigour ; I therefore bar all such misinterpreta- 
jtions as may attempt to set the mark of infirmity upon those 
emotions, which had no other source and origin but in the 
natural and pure benevolence of his heart. 

He was communicative to all without distinction, that 
sought information, or resorted to Lim for assistance ; fond 
of his college almost to enthusiasm, and ever zealous for the 
honour of the purple gown of Trinity. When he held exa- 
minations for fellowships, and the modest candidate exhi- 
bited marks of agitation and alarm, he never failed to inter- 
pret candidly of such symptoms ; and on those occssions he 
w^as never known to press the hesitating and embarrassed 
examinant, but oftentimes on the contrary would take all 
the pains of expounding on himself, and credit the exone- 
rated candidate for answers and interpretations of his own 
suggesting. If this was not rigid justice, it was, at least in 
my conception of it, something better and more amiable ; 
and how liable he was to deviate from the strict line of jus- 
tice, by liis partiality to the side of mercy, appears from the 
anecdote of the thief, who robbed him of his plate, and was 
seized and brought before him with the very articles upon 
him : the natural process in this man's case pointed out the 
road to prison ; my grandfather's process was more sum- 
mary, but not quite so legal. While commissary Greaves, 
who was then present, and of counsel for the college Ex 
officio^ was expatiating on the crime, and prescribing the 
measures obviously to be taken with the offender, Doctor 
Bentley interposed, saying, " Why tell the man he is a 
*' thief? he knows that well enough without thy informa- 
" tion, G reaves. -—Harkye, fellow, thou see'st the trade 
" which thou hast taken up is an unprofitable trade, there- 
" fore get thee gone, lay aside an occupation by which thou 
^^ can'st Q:oin notliing but a halter, and follow that by which 


*' thou inay'st earn an honest livelihood," Having said this, 
he ordered him to be set at liberty against the remonstrances 
of the bye-standers, and insisting upon it that the fellow was 
duly penitent for his offence, bade him go his way and never 
steal again. 

I leave it with those, who consider mercy as one of man's 
best attributes, to suggest a plea for the informality of this 
proceeding, and to such I will communicate one other anec- 
dote, which I do not deliver upon my own knowledge, though 
from unexceptionable authority, and this is, that when Col- 
lins had fallen into decay of circumstances, Doctor Bentley, 
suspecting he had written him out of credit by his Philoleu- 
therus Lifisieiisis^ secretly contrived to administer to the ne- 
cessities of his baffled opponent, in a manner, that did no 
less credit to his delicacy than to his liberality. 

A morose and over-bearing man will find himself a soli- 
tary being in creation ; Doctor Bentley on the contrary had 
many intimates ; judicious in forming his friendships, he 
was faithful in adhering to them. With Sir Isaac Newton, 
Doctor Mead, Doctor Waliis of Stamford, Baron Spanheim, 
the lamented Roger Cotes, and several other distinguished 
and illustrious contemporaries, he lived on terms of uninter- 
rupted harmony, and I have good authority for saying, that 
it is to his interest and importunity with Sir Isaac Newton, 
that the inestimable publication of the Princijiia was ever 
resolved upon by that truly great and luminous philosopher. 
Newton's portrait by Sir James Thornhiil, and those of Ba- 
ron Spanheim and my grandfather by the same hand, now 
hanging in the Master's lodge of Trinity, were the bequest 
of Doctor Bentley. I was possessed of letters in Sir Isaac's 
own hand to my grandfather, which together with the cor- 
rected volume of bishop Cumberland's Laws of A'aturc^ I 
lately gave to the library of that flourishing and illustrious 

The irreparable loss of Roger Cotes in early life of whom 
Newton had pronounced — jYoiv the nvorld will know soine^ 
things Doctor Bentley never mentioned but with the deepest 
regret : he had formed the highest expectations of new lights 
and discoveries in philosophy from the penetrating force of 
his extraordinary genius, and on the tablet devoted to his 
memory, hi the chapel of Trinity College, Doctor Bentley 
has recorded his sorrows and those of the whole learned 
world in the following beautiful and pathetic epitaph ; 


H. S. E. 

" Rogerus Robert! filius Cotes, 
" Hugus Collegii S. Trinitatis Socius, 
" Et Astronotniac et experimentalis 
" Philosophise Professor Plumianus ; 
<' Qui immatura Morte prsereptus, 
" Pauca quidem ingenii Sui 

" Pignora reliquit, 
" Sed egregia, sed admiranda, 
" Ex intimis Matheseos penetralibus, 
" Felici Solertia turn primum eruta ; 
" Post magnum ilium Newtonum 
" Societatis hujus spes altera 
" Et decus gemellum ; 
'* Cui ad summam Doctrinx laudem, 
" Omnes morum viitutumque dotes 
" In cumulum accesserunt ; 
^' Eo magis spectables amabilesque, 
" Quod in formoso corpora 
" Gratiores venirent. < 

" Natus Burbagii 
^* In agro Leicestriensi. 


'' Obiit. Jun. v. mdccxvi.'' 

His domestic habits, when I knew him, were still those 
of unabated study : he slept in the room adjoining to his 
library, and was never with his family till the hour of din- 
ner ; at these times he seemed to have detached himself 
most completely from his studies ; never appearing thought- 
ful and abstracted, but social, gay, and possessing perfect 
serenity of mind and equability of temper. He never dic- 
tated topics of conversation to the company he was with, but 
took them up as they came in his way, and was a patient 
listener to other people's discourse, however trivial or unin- 
teresting it might be. When The Sjiectatoi^s were in pub- 
lication I heard my mother say he took great delight in 
hearing them read to him, and was so particularly amused 
by the character of Sir Roger de Coverly, that he took his 
literary decease most seriously to heart. She also told mc, 
that, when in conversation with him on the subject of his 
works, she found occasion to lament that he had bestowed 
so great a portion of his time and talents upon criticism 


instead of employing them upon original composition, he 
acknowledged the justice of her regret with extreme sensi- 
bility, and remained for a considerable time thoughtful and 
seemingly embarrassed by the nature of her remark ; at last 
recollecting himself he said — ^" Child, I am sensible I have 
" not always turned my talents to the proper use for which 
^* I should presume they were given to me: yet I have 
" done something for the honour of my God and the edifica- 
" tion of my fellow-creatures ; but the wit and genius of 
" those old heathens beguiled me, and as I despaired of rais- 
" ingmyself up to their standard upon fair ground, I thought 
" the only chance I had of looking over their heads was to 
" get upon their shoulders." 

Of his pecuniary affairs he took no account ; he had no 
use for money, and dismissed it entirely from his thoughts : 
his establishment in the mean time was respectable, and his 
table affluently and hospitably served. All these matters 
were conducted and arranged in the best manner possible 
hy one of the best women livings ; for such, by the testimony 
ofallw^ho knew her, was Mrs. Bentley, daughter of Sir 
John Bernard, of Brampton, in Huntingdonshire, a family 
of great opulence and respectability, allied to the Crom wells . 
and Saint Johns, and by intermarriages connected with other 
great and noble houses. I have perfect recollection of the 
person of my grandmother, and a full impression of her 
manners and habits, which, though in some degree tinctured 
with hereditary reserve and the primitive cast of character, 
v^^ere entirely free from the hypocritical cant and affected 
sanctity of the Oliverians. Her whole life was modelled on 
the purest principles of piety, benevolence and Christian 
charity ; and in her dying moments, my mother being pre- 
sent and voucher of the fact, she breathed out her soul in a 
kind of beatific vision, exclaiming in rapture as she expired 
~//f is all bright^ it is all glorious, 

I was frequently called upon by her to repeat certain 
scriptural texts and passages, which she had taught me, and 
for which I seldom failed to be rewarded, but by which I 
was also frequently most completely puzzled and bewilder- 
ed ; so that I much doubt if the good effects of this practice 
upon immature and infantine understandings, will be found 
to keep pace with the good intentions of those who adopt it. 
One of these holy apothegms, viz :— T'Ae eyes of the Lord 
are in every filace^ beholding the evil and the good^ I remem- 


ber to have cost me many a struggle to interpret, and the 
result of my construction was directly opposite to the spirit 
and meaning of the text. I was also occasionally summoned 
to attend upon the readings of long sermons and homilies of 
Baxter, as I believe, and others of his period ; neither by 
these was I edified, but, on the contrary, so effectually wea- 
ried, that by noises andinterruptions I seldom failed to ren- 
der myself obnoxious, and obtain my dismission before the 
reading was over. 

The death of this exemplarylady preceded that of mygrand- 
father by a few years only, and by her he had one son,Richard, 
and two daughters, Elizabeth and Joanna. Richard was a man 
of various and considerable accomplishments ; he had a fine 
genius, great wit and a brilliant imagination ; he had also the 
manners and address of a perfect gentleman, but there was 
a certain eccentricity and want of worldly prudence in my 
uncle's character, that involved him in distresses, and re- 
duced him to situations uncongenial with his feelings, and 
unpropitious to the cultivation and encouragement of his 
talents. His connexion with Mr. Horace Walpole, the late 
Lord Orford, had too much of the bitter of dependiaice in it 
to be gratifying to the taste of a man of his spirit and sensi- 
bility ; the one could not be abject, and the other, I suspect, 
was not by nature very liberal and large-minded. They 
carried on, for a long time, a sickly kind of friendship, which 
had its hot fits and its cold ; was suspended and renewed, 
but I believe never totally broken and avowedly laid aside. 
Walpole had by nature a propensity, and by constitution a 
plea, for being captious and querulential, for he was a mar- 
tyr to the gout. He wrote prose and published it ; he com- 
posed verses and circulated them, cind was an author, who 
seemed to play 2X hide-and-seek v/ith the public. There was 
a mysterious air of consequence in his private establishment 
of a domestic printing-press, that seemed to augur great 
things, but performed little. Walpole was already an au- 
thor with no great claims to excellence, Bentley had thosQ 
powers in embryo, that would have enabled him to excel, 
but submitted to be the projector of Gothic embellishments 
for Strawberry Hiilj and humble designer of drawings to or- 
nament a thin folio of a meagre collection of odes by Gray, 
the most costive of poets, edited at the Walpolian press. In 
one of th(?se designs Bentley has personified himself as a 
monkey, sitting under a withered tree w^ith his pallet in his 


hand v/hiie Gray reposes under the shade of a flourishing* 
laurel in all the dignity of learned ease. Such a design 
with figures so contrasted might flatter Gray and gratify 
the trivial taste of Walpoie ; but in my poor opinion it is a 
satire in* copper-plate, and my uncle has most completely 
libelled both his poet and his patron without intending so 
to do. 

Let this suffice at present for the son of Doctor Bentley ; 
m the course of these memoirs I shall take occasion to re- 
call the attention of my readers to what I have further to 
relate of him. 

Elizabeth Bentley, eldest daughter of her father, first mar- 
ried Humphry Ridge, Esquire, and after his decease the 
Reverend Doctor Favell, fellow of Trinity College, and af- 
ter his marriage with my aunt. Rector of \Vitton near Hun- 
tingdon, in the gift of Sir John Bernard of Brampton. She 
was an honoureible and excellent lady ; I had cause to love 
her, and lament her death. She inherited the virtues and 
benignity of her mother, with habits more adapted to the 
fashions of the world. 

Joanna, the younger of Doctor Bentley's daughters, and 
the Phcebe of Byron's pastoral, was my mother. I will not 
violate the allegiance I have vowed to truth in giving any 
other character of her, than what in conscience I regard as 
just and faithful. She had a vivacity of fancy and a strength 
of intellect, in which few were her superiors : she read much,, 
remembered well and discerned acutely : I never knew the 
person, who could better embellish any subject she was 
upon, or render common incidents more entertcdningby the 
happy art of relating them ; her invention v/a?s »so fertile, her 
ideas so original and the points of humour so ingeniously and 
vmexpectedly taken up in the progress of her narrative, that 
she never failed to accomplish all the purposes, which the 
gaiety of her imagination could lay itself out for : she had a 
quick intuition into characters, and a faculty of marking out 
the ridiculous, when it came within her view, with a force I 
must confess she made rather too frequent use of. Her so- 
cial powers were brilliant, but not uniform, for on some oc- 
casions she would persist in a determined taciturnity to the 
regret of the company present, and at other times would lead 
off in her best manner, when perhaps none were present, 
w^ho could taste the spirit and amenity of her humour. There 
hardly passed a day, ia which she failed to devote a portion 


of her time to the reading of the Bible ; and her commenti^ 
imd expositions might have merited the attention of the wise 
and learned. Though strictly pious, there was no gloom in 
her religion, but on the contrary such was the happy faculty 
which she possessed, of making every doctrine pleasant, eve- 
ry duty sweet, that whcit some instructors would have repre- 
sented as a burden and a yoke, she contrived to i ccommend 
as a recreation and delight. All that son can owe to parent^ 
or disciple to his teacher, I owe to her. 

My paternal grandfdther Richard, only son of Bishop Cum- 
berland, was rector of Peakirk in the diocese of Feterbo- 
borough and Archdeacon of Northampton. He had two 
sons and one daughter, v/ho was married to Waring Ashby-^ 
Esquire, ofQuenby Hall in tho county of Leicester, and died 
in child-bed of her only son George Ashby, Esquire, late of 
Haselbeacli in Northamptonshire. Richard, the eldest son of 
Archdeacon Cumberland, died unmarried at tlie age of twen- 
ty-nine, and tne younger, Denison, so named from his mo- 
ther, was my father. He was educated at Westminster 
school, and from that admitted fellow-commoner of Trinity 
College, in Cambridge. He married at the age of twenty- 
two, and though in possession of an independent fortune, was 
readily prevailed upon by his father-in -iav/ Doctor Bentley, 
to take the rectory of Stanwick in the county of Northamp- 
ton, given to him by Lord Chancellor King, as soon as he was 
of age to hold it. From this period he fixed his constant re- 
sidence in that retired and tranquil spot, and sedulously de- 
voted himself to the duties of his function. When I con- 
template the character of this amiable man, I declare to 
truth I never yet knew one so happily endowed with those 
engaging qualities, wiiich are formed to attract and fix the 
love and esteem of mankind. It seemed as if the whole 
spirit of his grandfather's benevolence had been transfused 
into his heart, and that he bore as perfect a resem.blance of 
him in goodness, as he did in person : in mortal purity he 
was truly a Christian, in generosity and honour he was per- 
fectly a gentleman. 

On the nineteenth day of February, 1732, I was born in 
the Master's Lodge of Trinity College, inter silvas Acadtmi^ 
under the roof of my grandfather Bentley, in what is called 
the Jiidge^s Chamber, Having therefore prefaced my history 
with these few faint sketches of the great and good men, 
whom I have the honour to number amongst my ancestors. 


I must solicit the condescension of my readers to a much 
humbler topic, and proceed to speak professedly of myself. 

Here then for awhile I pause for self-examination, and to 
^veigh theiask 1 am about to undertake. I look into my 
lieart ; I search my understanding-; I review my life, my 
labours, the talents I have been endowed with, and the uses 
J have put them to, and it shall be my serious study not to be 
found guilty of any partial estimates, any false appreciations 
of that self, either as author or man, whichof necessity must 
be made to fill so large a portion of the following pages. 
When from the date, at which my history now pauses, I 
look forward "through a period of more than seventy and two 
years, I discover nothing within my horizon, of which to be 
vain glorious ; no sudden heights to turn me giddy, no daz- 
zling gleams of fortune's sunshine to bewilder me ; nothing 
but one long laborious track, not often strewed with roses, 
and thorny, cold and barren towards the conclusion of it, 
where weariness wants repose, and age has need of comfort. 
i see myself unfortunately cast upon a lot in life neither con- 
genial with m.y character, nor friendly to my peace ; com- 
bating with dependejice, disappointment and disgusts of va- 
lious sorts, transplanted from a college, within whose walls 
I had devoted myself to studies, which I pursued with ardent 
passion and a rising^reputation, and what to ol^tain ? What, 
but the experience of difficulties, and the credit of oa'c room- 
ing them ; the useful chastisement, w^hich unkindness has 
inllicted, and the conscious satisfaction of not having merited, 
nor in any instance of my life revenged it ? 

If I do not know myself I am not fit to be my own biogra- 
pher ; and if I do know myself I am sure I never took de- 
light in egotisms, and now behold ! I am self-devoted to deal 
in little else. Be it so ! I will abide the consequences ; I will 
not tell untruths to set myself out for better than I havebeen, 
but as I have not been overpaid by my contem.poraries, I 
will not scruple to exact what is due to me from posterity. — 
Ipse de vie scriham, (Cic.) 

I have said that I was born on the 1 9th of February, 
1732 ; I was not the eldest child, though the only son, of 
my mother ; my sister Joanna was more than two years old- 
er than I, and more tha^ t^ice two years before me in ap- 
prehension, for whilst she profited very rapidly by her mo- 
ther's teaching, I by no means trod in her steps, but en the 
contrary after a fev/ unpromising efforts psremptorily gave 


up the cause, and persisted in a stubborn repugnance to ail 
instruction. My mother's good sense and my grandfather's 
good advice concun-ed in the measures to be taken with nie 
in this state of mutiny against all the powers of the alphabet ; 
my book was put before me, my lesson pointed out, and tho' 
I never articulated a single word, I conned it over in si- 
lence to myself. I have traces of my sensations at tliis pe- 
riod still in my mind, and perfectly recollect the revolt I 
received from reading of the Heathen Idols, described in the 
11 5th psalm as having eyes and not seeing, ears and not 
hearing, with other contrarieties, which betvveen positive and 
negative so completely overset my small stock of ideas, that 
I obstinately stood fast upon the halt, dumb and insensible to 
instruction as the images in question. Of this circumstance, 
exactly as I relate it, with those sensations, which it impress- 
ed upon my infantine mind, I now retain, as I have already 
said, distinct recollection. 

If there is any moral in this small incident, which can im- 
part a Cc>utionary hint to the teachers of children, my readers 
v/ill forgive me for treating them with a story of the nursery. 
I have only to add, that when I at length took to my business 
I have my mother's testimony for saying that I repaid her 

My family divided their time between Cambridge and 
Stan wick so long as my grandfather lived, and when I was 
turned of six years I was sent to tlie school at Bury Saint 
Edmund's, then under the mastership of the Reverend Ar- 
thur Kinsman, w^ho formed his scholars upon the system of 
Westminster, and was a Trinity College man, much es- 
teemed by my grandfather. This school, when I came to 
it, was in high reputation, and nnmbered a hundred and 
fifty boys. Kinsman was an excellent master, a very suffi- 
cient scholar, and had all the professional requisites of voice, 
air and aspect, that marked him out at first sight as a per- 
sonag'e decidedly made on purpose — habere imtierium in 
p.uerGs. In his hands I can truly witness the reins of empire 
never slackened, but we did not murmur against his autho- 
rity, for with all his warmth of temper he was kind, cordial^, 
open-hearted, and an impartial administrator of punishments 
and praises, as they were respectively deserved. His name 
was high in the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk, and the chief 
families in those parts were present v/ith him in the persons of 
their representatives; and some yet living can bear witness to 

D 2 


the vigour of his arm. He was fiery jzealous for the honor of 
his school,which by the terms of its establishment was subject 
to the visitation of those who were in the government of it, 8c 
I remember upon a certain occasion, when these gentlemen 
entered the school-room, in the execution of their office, (I 
being then in the rostrum in the act of construing Juvenal) 
he ordered me to proceed without noticing their appearance, 
and something having passed to give him offence against 
one of their number in particular, taking up the passage 
then under immediate recitation, he (Echoed forth in a loud 
and pointed tone of voice — 

A'osy A'ostj^aque Uvidus odit. 

It must be confessed that my good old master had a vaunt- 
ing kind of style in setting forth his school, and once in 
conversation with my grandfather in Trinity Lodge,- he was 
so unaccountably misled by the spirit of false prophecy, as 
to venture to say in a rallying kind of way— ^' Master, I will 
make your gi^andson as good a scholar as yourself." — To 
this Doctor Bentley in the like vein of raillery replied — ^ 
*' Pshaw, Arthur, how can that be, when I have forgot more 
than thou ever knew'st V Certain it is that my inauspicious 
beginnings angered very ill for the bold prediction, thus 
improvidently hazarded ; for so supremely idle was I, and 
so far from being animated by the charms of the Latin gram- 
mar, that the labour of instruction w^as but labour lost, and 
it seemed a chance if I was destined to arrive at any other 
acquirement but the art cf sinking j in which I regularly pro- 
ceeded till I found my proper station at the very bottom of 
my class, which, as far as idleness could be my security, I 
was likely to take lasting possession of. 

I am persuaded hoAvever that the tranquillity of my igno- 
rance would have suffered no interruption from the remon- 
strances of the worthy usher of the uuder-school, who satin 
a plaid night-gown and let things take their course, had not 
the penetrating eye of old Kinsman discovered the grandson 
of his friend fir in the rear of the line of honour, and in a 
iuir train to give the flattest contradiction to his prophecy. 
Whereupon one day, which by me can never be forgotten, 
calling me up to him in his chair at the head of the school, 
he began with much solemnity and in a loud voice to lecture 
me very sharply, whilst all eyes were upon me, all ears 
€)pen, and a dead silence, horrible to my feelings, did not 
leave a hope th?,t a jingle word had escaped the aotice of 


my school-fellows. I well remember his demanclin 15 of mc 
what report I could expect him to make of me to my grand- 
fiither Bentley . I shuddered at the name, even at that early 
age s6 loved and so revered : I made no defence ; I had 
none to make, and he went thunderin.^ on, farther perhaps 
than he need to have gone, had he given less scope to his 
zeal, and trusted more to his intuition, for the keenness of 
his reproof had sunk into my heart ; I was covered with 
shame and confusion ; I retired abashed to my seat, which 
wtis the lowest in my class, and that class the lowest save 
one in the under-school : I hid my face between my hands, 
resting my head upon the desk before me, and gave myself 
up to tears and contrition : when I raised my eyes and look- 
ed about me, I thought I discovered contempt in the coun- 
tenances of the boys. At that moment the spirit of emula- 
tion, which had not yet awaked in my heart, was thoroughly 
roused ; but whilst I was thus resolving on a reform I fell 
ill, whetlier from agitation of mind, or from cause more na- 
tural I know not : I was, however, laid up in a sick bed for 
a considerable time, and in that piteous situation visited by 
my mother, who came from Cambridge on the alarm, and 
under her tender care I at length regained both my spirits 
and my health. 

My mother now returned to Cambridge and I was taken 
into Khisman's own house ^s a boarder, where being associ- 
ated with boys of a better description, and more immediately 
under the eye of my most timely admonisher, I took all the 
pains that my years would admit of to deserve his better 
opinion and regain my lost ground. My diligence was soon 
followed by success, aiasl success encouraged me to fresh 

I presume the teachers of grammar do not expect boys of 
IX very early age to understand it as a body of rules, but 
merely as an exercise of memory ; yet it is well to imprint 
it on their memories, that they may more readily apply to 
it as they advance in their acquaintance with the language. 
I had naturally a good memory, and practice added such a 
facility of^etting by heart, that in my repetitions, when we 
challenged for places, 1 entered the lists with all possible 
advantages, and soon found my self able to break a lance with 
the very best of my competitors. The good man in the 
.plaid gov/n now began to regard me v.ith less than his usual 
indiflerenccj and my early star was evidently in the ascend-. 


ant. Such were to me the happy consequences of my 
worthy master's seasonable admonition. 

After the decease of Mrs. Bentley, my mother, whose de- 
votion to her father was returned by the warmest affection 
on his part, passed much of her time, as my father did of his, 
at Cambridge ; there I also passed my holidays, and the 
undescribable gratification those delightful seasons gave me, 
has left traces of the times long past and the persons now 
dead, that can only be effaced by death, and of their surviv- 
ing even that I should be loth to lose the hope. I was be- 
come capable of understanding my grandfather to be the great 
man he really was, and began to listen to him with attention, 
and treasure up his sayings in my mind. I was admitted to 
dine at his table, had my seat next to his chair, served him 
in many little offices, and went upon his errands with a 
promptitude and alacrity that shewed what pride I took in 
such commissions, and tempted his good nature to invent 
occassions for employing me. 

One day I full well remember my old master Kinsman 
walked into the room, and was welcomed by my grandfatlier 
with the cordiality natural to him. In the mean time my 
heart fluttered with alarm and dread of that report, which he 
had once threatened to prefer against me ; nothing could be 
further from his generous thoughts, and as soon as ever he 
was at leisure to notice such an i insignificant little being, it 
was with the affection and caresses of a father ; when I 
looked in his face there was no longer any feature of the 
school-master in it, the terrors of the ferula and the rod were 
vanished out of sight, and that upright strutting little person 
which in authority was so awful, had now relaxed from its 
rigidity, and no longer strove to swell itself into importance. 
Arthur notwithstanding was a great man on his own ground, 
and though he venerated the master of Trinity College, 
he did not renounce a proper self-esteem for the master 
of Bury School, and the dignity appertaining to that office, 
which he filled, and to which Bentley him.self had once 
stooped for instruction. He v/as a gay social fellow, who 
loved his frier^d and had no antipathy to his bottle ; he had 
then a kind of dashing discourse, savouring somewhat of 
the shofl^ which trifles did not check, and contradiction could 
not daunt. Ke had at this very time been recreating his 
spirit with the company in the combination room, and 
\j2i% fairly primed v/ith priestly port. My grandfather I 


dare say discovered nothinj^ of this, and Walker, who ac- 
companied Kinsman to the lodge, was exactly in that state 
when silence is the best resort : Arthur in the mean time, 
whose tongue conviviality had by no means tied up, began 
to open his school books upon Bentley, and had drawn him 
into Homer ; Greek now rolled in torrents from the lips of 
Bentley, and the most learned of moderns chanted forth the 
inspired rhapsodies of the most illustrious of ancients in a 
strain delectable indeed to the ear, but not very edifying to 
poor little me and the ladies ; nay, I should even doubt if 
the master of Bury School understood all that he heard, but 
that the Avorthy vice master of Trinity was innocent of all 
apprehension, and clear of the plot, if treason was wrapped 
up in it, I can upon my knowledge of him confidently vouch. 
This, however, I remember, and my mother has frequent- 
ly in time past refreshed my recollection of it, that Joshua 
Barnes in tpe course of this conversation being quoted by 
Kinsman, as a man understanding Greek, and speaking it 
almost like his mother tongue — ." Yes," replied Bentley, 
" I do believe that Barnes had as much Greek, and under- 
" stood it about as well, as an Athenian blacksmith.'* Of 
Pope's Homer he said that he he had read it ; it was an ele-« 
gant poem, but no translation. Of the learned Warburton, 
then in the outset of his fame, he remarked that there seem- 
ed to be in him a voracious appetite for knowledge ; he 
doubted if there was a good digestion. This is an anecdote 
I refer to those w^ho are competent to make or reject the ap- 
plica Aon. 

At no great distance of time from this period, which I 
have been now recording, Doctor Bentley died and was bu- 
ried in Trinity College chapel by the side of the altar table, 
where a square black stone records his name and J&othing 
more. It'remains with the munificence of that rich society 
to award him other monumental honours, whenever they 
may think it right to grace his memory with a tablet. He 
was seized with a complaint that in his opinion, seemed to 
indicate a necessity of immediate bleeding ; Dr. Heberden, 
then a young physician practising in Cambi idge, w^as of a 
contrary opinion, and the patient acquiesced. His friend 
Dr. Waliis, in whose skilful practice and experience he so 
justly placed his confidence, v/as unfortunately absent from 
Stamford, ajid never came upon the summons for any pur- 
pose but to share in the sorrows of his family, and lamen^ 


the Ron-compilance with the process he had recomTnended, 
which,, accordmg to his judgment ol the case, was the very 
measure he should himself have taken. 

I believe I fell as much affiiction as my age was capable of 
when my master Kinsmcin imparted the intelligence of my 
grandfather's deuth to me, taking me into his private cham- 
ber, and lamenting the event v/ith great agitation. Whilst 
I gave vent to my tears, he pressed me tenderly in his arms, 
and encouraging me to persist in my dilligence, assured me 
of his favour and protection. He kept me out of school for a 
few days, gave me private instruction, and then sent me 
forth ardently resolved to acquit myself to his satisfaction. 
From this time I may truly say my tdsk was my delight. I 
rose rapidly to the head of my class, and in the whole course 
of my progress through the upper school never once lost my 
place of head boy, though drdiy challenged by those, who 
were as anxious to dislodge me from my post as I was to 
maintain myself in it. As 1 have the honour to name both 
Bishop Warren, and his brother Richard, the physician, as 
two amongst the most formidable of my form -fellows, I may 
venture to say that school boy must have been more than 
commonly alert, whom they could not overtake and depose ; 
but the exertion of my competitors was such a spur to my 
industry and ambition, tiiat my mind v/as perpetually in its 
business. Had I in any careless moment suffered a discom- 
fiture, my mortification would have been most poignant, but 
the dread I had of that event caused me always to be pre- 
pared against it, and I held possession of my post under a 
suspended sword, that hourly menaced me without ever 

Whilst I dwell on the detail of anecdotes like the above I 
must refer myself to the candour of the reader, but though 
it behoves me to study brevity, where I cannot furnish amuse- 
njent, it would be totally inconsistent with the plan I have 
laid do^vn, to pass over in total silence this period of my 
life ; an ssra in the history of every man's mind and charac- 
ter, only to be omitted when it is not to be obtained ; a plea, 
which those, who are their own biographers, are not privi- 
leged to make. 

My good old master was a hospitable man, and every 
Wednesday held a kind of public day, to v/hich his friends 
and neighbours used to resort. On that day he drank his 
bpttle of port and played his game of back-gammon, after 


which he came in gaiety of heart to evening-school for one 
hour only. It was a gala day for all the boys, and for me in 
particular, as I was sure on all those occasions to be ordered 
up to the rostrum to recite and expound Juvenal, and he sel- 
dom failed to keep me so employed through the whole time. 
He had a great partiality for that nervous author, and L re- 
member his reciting the following passage in a kind of rap- 
turous enthusiasm in the ears of all the school, crying out 
that he defied the writers of the Augustan age to produce one 
equal to it — The classical reader very probably will not se- 
cond his opinion, but I dare say he will not fail to anticipate 
tho passage which is as follows — 

Esto bonus viiles^ tutor bonus^ arbiter idem 
Integer ; ambiguas siquando citabere causes^ 
InceiHcsque reij Phalaris licet imfierit ut sis 
Falsus^ ct admoto dictet fierjuria Tauro^ 
Summum crcde nefas animani fireferre padovi^ 
Et {irofiter vitam -vivendi perdere causas. 
This is unquestionably a fine passage and a sublime mor- 
al, but I rather suspect there is a quaintness, and something 
of what the Italians call concetto^ in the concluding line, that 
is not quite in the style and cast o'f the purer age. 

The tasks of a school boy are of three desciiptions ; he 
is to give the construction of his author, to study his repeti- 
tions, and to write what are called his exercises, whether in 
verse or prose. In the former two, the tasks of construing 
and saying by heart, it was the usage of our school to chal- 
lenge for places : In this province my good fortune v/as un- 
clouded ; in my exercises I did not succeed so well, for by 
aiming at something like fancy and invention I was too fre- 
quently betrayed into grammatical errors, whilst my rivals 
presented exercises with fewer faults, and, by attempting 
scarcely any thing, hazarded little. These premature and 
imperfect sallies, v/hich I gave way to, did me no credit 
with my master, and once in particular upon my giving in a 
copy of Latin verses, unpardonably incorrect, though not 
entirely void of imagination, he commented upon m.y blun- 
ders with great severity, and in the hearing of my form fel- 
lows threatened to degrade me from my station ait their head. 
I had earned that station by hard labour and unceasing assi- 
duity ; I ha.d maintained it against their united efforts for 
some years, and the dread of being at once deprived of v/hat 
they had not been able to take from me^ had such tx\ eftect 


on my sensibility, that I never perfectly recovered it, and 
probably should at no time after have gained any credit in 
that branch of my school-business, had I not been transplant- 
ed to Westminster. 

The exercise, for which I was reprehended, I well remem- 
ber was a copy of verses upon Phalaris's bull, which bull I 
comess led me into some blunders, that my master might 
have observed upon with more temper. I stood in need of 
instruction, and he inflicted discouragement. 

Though I love the memory of my good old master, and 
am under infinite obligations to his care and kindness, yet 
having severely experienced how poignant are the inflictions 
of discouragement to the feelings, and how repulsive to the 
efforts of the unformed embryo genius, I cannot state this 
circumstance in any better light than as oversight in point 
education, which, though well-intentioned on his part, could 
only operate to destroy what it was his object to improve. 

When the talents of a young and rising author shall be 
found to profit by the denunciations and brow-beatings of 
his hypocritical contemporaries, then, and not till then, it 
will be right to train up our children according to tais sys- 
tem, and discouragement be the best model for education, 
which the conductors of it can adopt. 

As our master had lately discontinued his custom of let- 
ting his boys act a play of Terence before the Christmas ho- 
lidays, after the example of Westminster, some of us under- 
took without his leave, though probably not without his 
knowledge and connivance, to get up the tragedy of Cato, 
at one of the boarding-houses, and invite the gentry of the 
town to be present at our childish exnibition. We escaped 
from school one evening, and climbed the wall that intercept- 
ed us from the scene of action, to prepare ourselves for this 
goodly show. A full-bottomed perrivvig for Cato, and fe- 
male attire for Portia and Marcia borrowed from the maids 
of the lodging house, were the chief articles of our scanty 
w^ardrobe, and of a piece with the wretchedness of our pro- 
perty was the wretchedness of our performance. Our audi- 
ence,however, which was not very select, endured us and we 
slept upon our laurels, till the next morning being made to 
turn out for the amusement of the whole school, and go thro' 
a scene or two of the evening's entertainment, we acquitted 
ourselves so little to the satisfaction of Mr. Kinsman, that 
after bestowing some hearty buffets upon the virtuous Mar- 


cia, who had tovjered above hn* sex in the person of a most 
ill-favoured wry-necked bo)', the rest of our dramatis ^ierso7ia: 
was sentenced to the fine of an imposition, and dismissed. 
The part of Juba had been my cast, and the tenth gwtire of 
Juvenal Avas my portion of the fine inflicted. 

It was about this time I made my first attempt in English 
verse, and took for my subject an excursion I had made Mith 
my family in the summer holidays to visit a relation in 
Hampshire, which engaged me in a description of the docks 
at Portsmouth, and of the races of Winchester, where I had 
been present. I believe my poem Wits not short of a hun- 
dred lines, and was written at such times as I could snatch a 
few minutes from my business or amusements. I did not 
like to risk the consequences of confiding it to my school- 
fellows, but kept it closely secret till the next breaking \\\)^ 
when I exhibited it to my father, who received it after his 
gracious manner with unreserved commendation, and per- 
sisted in reciting it to his intimates, when I had gained expe- 
rience enough to wish he had consigned it to oblivion. 

Though I have no copy of this childish performance, I 
bear in my remembrance two introductory couplets, which 
were the first English lines I ever wrote, and are as fol- 
lows : — 

Sijice every scribbler claims his share offame^ 
And every Cibber boasts a Dryden^s name^ 
Permit an infant Muse her chance to try ; 
All have a right to that^ and ivhy not I? 
One other lame and miserable couplet just now occurs 
to me, as being quoted frequently upon me by my mother 
as an instance in the art of sijiking^ and it is clear I had 
stumbled upon it in my description of the dock-vard* 
viz — 

" Here they iveave cabtes^ there they main -masts for my 
" Here they forge anchors — useful in a storm.'^ 
My good father however was not to be put by from his 
defences by trifles, and stoutly stood by my anchors, con- 
tending that as they were unquestionably useful in a storm, 
I had said no more of them than was true, and why should I 
be ashamed of having spoken the truth ? Yet ashamed I v/as 
some short time after, not indeed for having violated the 
truth, but for suppressing it, and my dilemma Avas occasion- 
ed by the follov/ing circumstance. I had picked up an epi- 
^ram amongst my school-fellovrs, which struck mV fu.n:;> 



and wiihout naming the author, (for I knew him not,) I re- 
peated it to my father — it was this — 

Foets of old did Argus Jirize 
Because he had an hundred cyes^ 
But sure more jiraise to him is due^ 
Who looks an hundred ways ivith two. 

In repeating this epigram, which perhaps the reader can 
find an author for, I did not give it out as my own, but it was 
so understood by my father, and he circulated it as mine, 
and took pleasure in repeating it as such amongst his friends 
and intimates. In this state of the mistake, when his credit 
had been affixed to it, I had not courage to disavow it, and 
the time being once gone by for saving my honor, I suffered 
him to persist in his error under the continual terror of de- 
tection. The dread of thus forfeiting his good opinion hung 
upon my spirits for a length of time ; it passed however un- 
discovered to the end of his life, and I now implore pardon 
of his memory for the only fallacy I ever put upon him to 
the conviction of my conscience. 

After the death of Doctor Bentley my family resided in 
the parsonage house of Stanwick near Highan Ferrers in 
Northamptonshire ; it had been newly built from the ground 
by my father's predecessor Doctor Needham, from a plan of 
Mr. Burroughs of Caius College, an architect of no 
small reputation ; it was a handsome square of four equal 
fronts, built of stone, containing four rooms on a floor, 
with a gallery running through the center ; it was seated 
on the declivity of a gentle hill, with the village to the 
south, amongst trees and pasture grounds in view, and a 
small stream in the valley between ; on the north, west and 
south w^ere gardens, on the east the church at some little 
distance, and in the intermediate space an excellent range of 
stables and coeich houses, built by my father, and forming one 
side of a square court laid out for the approach of carriages 
to the house. The spire of Stanwick Chuixh is esteemed 
one of the m.ost beautiful models in that style of architecture 
in the kingdom ; my father added a very handsome clock 
and ornamented the chancel with a railing, screen and en- 
tablature upon three-quarter columns, with a singing gallery 
at the west end, and spared no expense to keep his church 
not only in that neatness and decorum, which befits the house 
of prayer, but also in a perfect state of good and permiuient 


Here in the hearts of his parishioners, and the esteem of 
his neighbours, my good father lived tranquil and unambi- 
tious, never soliciting other preferment than this for the 
space of thirty years, holding only a small prebend in the 
church of Lincoln, given to him by his uncle, Bishop Rey- 
nolds. He was in the commission of the peace, and a very 
active magistrate in the reconcilement of parties, rather than 
in the commitment of persons: in those quiet parts offences 
were in general trivial, and the difierenccs merely such as 
an attorney could contrive to hook a suit upon, so that v/itli 
a very little legal knowledge, and a very hospitable generous 
disposition, my father rarely failed to put contentious spirits 
to peace by reference to the kitchen and the cellar. In the 
iTiean time his popularity rose in proportion as his beer- 
barrels sunk, and as often as he made peace he made friends, 
till, I may say without exaggeration, he hacl all men's good 
word in his favour and their services at his command. In 
the mean time such was the orderly behaviour and good dis- 
cipline of his own immediate flock, that I have frequently 
heard him say he never once had occasion during his long 
residence amongst them to issue his warrant within the pre- 
cincts of his own happy village, which being seated between 
the more populous and less correct parishes of Raunds and 
Higham-Ferrers, he used appositely to call Little Zoavy 
but made no further allusions to the evil neighbourhood of 

In this peaceful spot with parents so affectionate I was tl-e 
happiest of beings in my breakings-up from school. Those 
delightful scenes are fresh in my remembrance, and when I 
have occasioncilly revisited them, since the decease of objects 
jcver so dear to me, the sensations they have excited are not 
for me to describe. I had inherited an excellent constitu- 
tion, and, though not robust in make, was more than com- 
monly adroit in my athletic exercises. In swiftness of foot 
for a short distance no boy in Bury School could match me, 
and, when at Cambridge, I gave a general challenge to the 
collegians, which was decided in Trinity Walks in my 

Those field sports, of which the young and active are na- 
turally so fond, I enjoyed by my father's favour in perfec- 
tion, and in my winter holidays constantly went out with him 
upon his hunting days, and was always admirably mounted. 
He was light and elegant in his person, and had in his early 


youth kept horses and rode matches at NeM^market after the 
example of his elder brother ; but though his profession had 
now put a stop to those levities, he shared in a pack of har- 
riers with a neighbouring gentleman, and was a bold and 
excellent rider. In m.y first attendances upon him to the 
field, the joys of hunting scarcely compensated for the terrors 
I sometimes felt in following him against my will upon a 
racing galloway, which he had purchased of old Panton, and 
■vvhose attachment to her leader was such as left me no option 
as to the pace I would wish to go, or the leaps I would avoid 
to take. At length when age added strength and practice 
gave address, fcills became familiar to me, and I left both 
fear and prudence behind me in the pleasures of the chace. 

It was in these intervals fi-om school that my rriother began 
to form both my taste and my car for poetry, by employing 
me every evening to read to her, of which art she was a very 
able mistress. Our readings were with very few exceptions 
confined to the chosen plays of Shakspeare, whom she both 
admired and understood in the true spirit and sense of the 
author. Under her instruction I became passionately fond 
of these our evening entertainments ; in the mean time she 
v>' as attentive to model my recitation, and correct my manner 
with exact precision. Her comments and illustrations were 
Spuch aids and instructions to a pupil in poetry as few could 
have given. What I could not else have understood she 
<:ould aptly explain, and what I ought to admire and feel 
nobody could more happily select and recommend. I well 
remember the care she took to mark out for my observation 
t'.c peculiar excellence of that unrivalled poet in the con- 
sistency and preservation of his characters, and wdierever 
instances occurred amongst the starts and sallies of his un- 
lettered fancy of the extravagant and false sublimxC, her dis- 
cernment oftentimes prevented me from bemg so dazzled by 
the glitter of the period as to misapply my admiration, and 
betray my want of taste. With all her father's critical actc- 
men she could trace, and teach me to unravel, all the mean- 
ders of his metaphor, and point out where it illuminated, or 
v/here it '>-aly loaded and obscured the meaning ; these were 
happy hours a.nd interesting lectures to me, whilst my be- 
loved father, ever placid and complacent, sate beside us, and 
took part in our amusement : his voice was never heard but 
in the tone of approbation ; his countenance never marked 
but with the natural traces of his indelible and hereditary 


The effect of these readuigs waa- exactly that, which was 
naturally to be foreseen. I began to try my strength in sev- 
eral slight attempts towards the drama, and as Shaks- 
pcare was most upon my tongue and nearest to my heart, I 
fitted and compiled a kind of cento^ which I entitled Shakf:- 
fieave in the Shades^ and formed into one act, selecting the 
characters Hamlet and Ophelia, Romeo and Juliet, Lear 
and Cordelia, as the persons of my drama, and giving to 
Shakspeare, who is present throughout the piece, Ariel, 
as an attendant spirit, and taking for the motto of my title 
page— . 

^st alii scx^ 
Et filiires^ uno conclamant ore^—^ 

I should premise that I was now at the head of Bury 
Sdiool, though only in my twelfth year, and not very slight- 
ly grounded in the Greek and Latin classics, there taught. 

The scene is laid in Elysium, where the poet is discov- 
ered and opens the drama with the following address—. 

" Most fair and equal hearers, knov/, that whilst this soul 
*' inhabited its fleshy tabernacle, I was called Shakspeare ; 
*' a greater name and more exalted honours have dignified 
" its dissolution. Blest with a liberal portion of the divine 
^' spirit, as a tribute due to the bounty of the gods, I left 
" behind me an immoital monument of my fame. Think 
" not that I boast ; the actions of departed beings may not 
" be censured by any moilal wit, nor are accountable to any 
" earthy tribunal. Let it suffice that in the grave — 
lVhe?i zve have shuffled off this mortal coyle--^ 
" All envy and detraction, all pride and vain glory are no 
" more ; still a grateful remembrance of humanity, and a 
" tender regard for our posterity on earth follow us to this 
" happy seat ; and it is in this regard I deign once more to 
^' salute you with my favoured presence, and am content to 
" be again an actor for your sakes. * I have been attentive 
*^ to your sufferings at my mournful scenes ; guardian of 
" that virtue, which I left in distress, I come now, the in- 
" strument of Providence, to compose your sorrows, and 
" restore to it the proportioned reward. Those bleeding'^ 
" characters, those martyred worthies, whom I have sent 
" untimely to the shades, shall now at length and in your 
" sight be crowned v/ith their beloved retribution, and tl-e 
*^ justice, which as their poet I withheld from them, as the 

c 3 


** arbiter and disposer of their fate, I ^Till award to them ^ 
" Init for the vHhiin and adulterer — 

The perjured and the sinn/ar man ofvirtue-^-* 
'- the proud, the ambitious, and the murderer, I shall— 
Leave such to heaven^ 
And to those thorns^ that in their bosoms lodge 
To prick aiid sting them, — 
'^ But soft ! I see one coming, that often hath beguiled you 
*' of your tears — the fair Ophelia — " 

The several parties now make their respective appeals, 
and Shakspeare finally summons them all before him by 
his agent Ariel, for whose introduction he prepares the au- 
dience by the following soliloquy^ — 

*' Now comxes the period of my high commission : 

** All have been heard, and all shall be rcstor'dj 

" All errors blotted out and all obstructions, 

" jMortality entails, shall be remov'd, 

'* And from the mental eye the film withdra^nij. 

^' Which in its corporal union had obscur'd 

^' And clouded the pure virtue of its sight. 

** But to these purposes I must employ 

" My ready spirit Ariel, some time minister 

*' To Prospero, and the obsequious slave 

<' Of his enchantments, fi*om whose place preferred 

»• He here attends to do me ser^ices, 

•* And qualifies these beings for Elysium — 

'' Hoa ! Ariel, approach my dainty spirit ! 

(Ariel enters,) 
All hail ^ great master^ grave sir y hail I I come 
To ansiver thy best pleasure ; be it to fly ^ 
To sivim^ to dive iiito the fire ^ to Hde 
On the curled clouds — to thy stro?ig bidding task 
Ariel and all Jus qualities—^ 

Skakespcarf . 

" Know then, spirit, 
^ Into this grove six shades consign^ to bliss 
^' I've separately remov'd, of each sex three ; 
*' Unheard of one another and unseen 
^ There they abide, yet each to each endear'd 
^' By ties of strong affection : not the same 
^< Their several objects, though the effects alike^ 
'■^ But husband, father, lover make the change. 
.^ Now though the body's perish'd, yet are they 


** Fresh from their sins and bleeding with their wrongs ; 
" Therefore all sense of injury remove, 
** Heal up their wounded faculties anew, 
" And pluck affliction's arrow from tiieir hearts ; 
*' Refine tlieir passions, for gross sensual love 
" Let it become a pure and faultless friendships^ 
^' Raise and confirm their joys, let them exchange 
" Their fleeting pleasures for immortal peace ; 
" This done, with speed conduct them each to other 
" So chang'd, and set the happy choir before me." 
I have the whole of this puerile production, written in a 
school-boy's hand, which by some chance has escaped the 
general wreck, in which I have lost some records, that I 
should now be glad to resort to. I am not quite sure that I 
act fairly by my readers when I give any part of it a place in 
these memoirs, yet as an instance of the impression, which 
my mother's lectures had made upon my youthful fancy, and 
perhaps as a sample of composition indicative of more 
thought and contrivance, than are commonly to be found in 
boys at so very early an age, I shall proceed to transcribe 
the concluding part of the scene, in which Romeo has his 
audience, and can truly affirm that the copy is faithful with- 
out the alteration or addition of a single word — 
" — O thou, the great disposer of my fate, 
" Judge of my actions, patron of my cause, 
" Tear not asunder such united hearts, 
" But give me up to love and to my Juliet. 

" Unthinking youth, thou dost forget thyself ; 
" Rash inconsiderate boy, must I again 
, '^ Remind thee of thy fate ? What! know'st thou not 
" The man, whose desperate hand foredoes himself, 
^' Is doom'd to wander on the Stygian shore 
" A restless shade^ forlorn and comfortless, 
^' For a whole age ? Nor shall he hope to sooth 
" The callous ear of Charon, till he win 
" His passion by repenteuice and submission 
" x\t this my fixt tribunal, else be sure 
" The v/retch shall hourly pace the lazy wharf 
" To view the beating of the Stygiau wave^ 
'* And waste his irksome leisure. 


Gracious powers, v 

Is this my doom, my torment — ? Heaven is here 
Where Juliet liues^ and each unnvorthij thing 
I^ives here in heaven and may look on her^ 
£ut Romeo may ?iot : more validity^ 
More honourable state^ more ivorsJii/i lives 
In carrion Jiies than Romeo : they may seize 
On the white wonder of my lovers dear handy 
And steal immortal blessings from her lipSj 
But Romeo may not ; '' He is doom'd to bear 
" An age's pain and sigh in banishment, 
^^ To drag a restless being on the shore 
" Of gloomy Styx, and weep into the flood, 
•' Till, with his tears made full, the briny sti^eam'** 
Shall kiss the most exalted shores of all, 

^* Now then dost thou repent thy follies past ? 

" Oh, ask me if I feel my torments present, 
*' Then judge if I repent my follies past. 
" Had I but powers to tell you what I feel, 
" A tongue to speak my heart's unfeigned contrition^. 
^' Then might I lay the bleeding part before you ; 
^' But 'twin not be — something I yet would say 
^' To extenuate my crime ; I fdn would plead 
*' The merit of my love — but I have done — 
" However hard my sentence, I submit. 
" My faithless tongue turns traitor to my heait, 
" And will not utter what it fondly prompts ; 
^ A rising gust of passion drowns my voice, 
^* And I'm most dumb when I've most need to sue. 

^^ Arise, young Sir ! before my mercy-seat 
" None kneel in vain ; repentance never lost 
" The cause she pleaded. Mercy is the proof, 
" The test that marks a character divine ; 
" Were ye like merciful to one another, 
^' The earth would be a heaven and men the gods-. 
" Withdraw awhile ; I see thy heart is full ; 
" Grief at a crime committed merits more 
[\ Than exultation for a duty done. 

(Romeo mthdra'ws.j 


^haksf-Lcare reviains andsjicakfi-^ 
^' What rage is this, O man, that thou should' st 
^^ To turn unnatural butcher on thyself, 
" And thy presumptuous violent hand uplift 
" Against that fabric which the gods have rais'd ? 
" Insolent wretch, did that presumptuous hand 
" Temper thy wond'rous frame ? Did that bold spirit 
" Inspire the quicken'd clay with living breath \ 
" Do not deceive thyself. Have the kind gods 
" Lent their own goodly image to thy use 
^' For thee to break at pleasure ?— 
" What are thy merits ? Where is thy dominion r 
" If thou aspir'st to rule, rule thy desires. 
" Thou poorly turn'stupon thy helpless body, 
" And hast no heart to check thy growing sins : 
" Thou gain'st a mighty victory o'er thy life, 
" But art enslaved to thy basest passions, 
" And bov/est to the anarchy within thee. 
" O ! have a care 

" Lest at thy great account thou should'st be found 
^' A thriftless steward of thy master's substance. 
" 'Tis his to take away or sink at will, 
" Thou but the tenant to a greater lord, 
" Nor maker, nor the monarch of thyself.'^ 
I select these extracts, because what is wdthin hooks is 
of my own composing, whereas in the preceding scenes, 
where the characters make their appeal, I perceive I had in 
general contrived to let them speak the language, v/hich their 
ow^n poet had given to them. I presume to add that the pas- 
sages I have extracted from their parts, as they stand in the 
originals of their great author,' are ingeniously enough 
chosen and appositely introduced ; I likewise take the liberty 
to observe, that where I have in those scenes above alluded 
to, connected the extracts with my own dialogue, consider- 
ing it as the work of so mere a novice, it is not contemptibly 
executed. As I have solemnly disavowed all deception or 
finesse in the whole conduct of these memoirs, so in this in- 
stance I have not sought to excite surprise by making my 
years fewer, or my verses better, than they strictly and truly 
were, having faithfully attested the one, and correctly tran- 
scribed the other. 

My worthy old master at Bury, now in the decline of life, 
Intimated his purpose of retiring, and my father took the op- 


portunity of transplanting me to Wesminster, vrhere he ad- 
mitted me under Doctor Nichols, and lodged me in the 
boarding house, then kept by Ludford, where he himself had 
been placed. He took me in his hand to the master, who 
seemed a good deal surprised to hear that I had passed 
through Bury School at the age of twelve, and immediately 
put a Homer before me, and after that an ode in Horace. I 
turned my eyes upon my father, and perceived him to be in 
considerable agitation. There happened to be no occasion for 
it, as the passages were familiar to me, and my amiable exa- 
miner seemed perfectly disposed to approve, cautioning me 
however not to read in too declamatory a style, " which," 
said he, " my boys will call conceited." It was highly grati- 
fying to me to hear him say, that he had found the boys who 
came out of Mr. Kinsman's hands, generally better grounded 
in their business than those who came from other schools. 
The next day he gave me a short examination for form- 
sake at the table, and placed me in the shell. As I was then 
only twelve years old, and small in stature for my years, my 
location in so high a class w^as regarded with some surprise. 
by the corps, into which I was so unexpectedly enrolled. 
Doctor Johnson, afterwards Bishop of Worcester, was then 
second master ; Vincent Bourne, well known to the literary 
world for his elegant Latin verses, was usher of the fifth 
form, and Lloyd, afterwards second master, v/as at the fourth. 
Cracherode, the iearaed coUecter and munificent benefactor 
to the Royal Museum, was in the head election, and at that 
time as grave, studiovis and reserved as he was through life ; 
but correct in morals and elegant in manners, not courting a 
promiscuous acquaintance, but pleasant to those who knew 
him. beloved by many and esteemed by all. At the head of 
the town boys was the Earl of Huntingdon,w^hom I should not 
name as a boy, for he was even then the courtly and accom- 
plished gentleman such as the world saw and?acknowledged 
him to be. The late Earl of Bristol, the late Earl of Buck- 
inghamshire, and the late Right Honorable Thomas Harley 
were my form-fellows, the present Duke of Richmond, then 
Lord March, Warren Hastings, Colman and Lloyd were 
in the under school, and what is a very extraordinary coinci- 
dence, there were then in school together throe boys, Hin- 
chlifte, Smith and Vincent, who afterwards succeeded to be 
severally head masters of Westminster school and not by 
tue decease of any one of them. 


HinchilfTe might well be called the child of fortune, for he 
was born in penury and obscurity, and was lifted into opu- 
lence and high station, not by the elasticity of his own genius, 
but by that lucky combination of opportunities, which merit 
has no share in making, and modesty no aptitude to seize. 
At Trinity College I knew him as an under-graduate below 
my standing ; in the revolution of a few years I saw him in 
the station aforetime filled by my grandfather as master of 
the college, and holding with it the bishoprick of Peter- 
borough ; thus doubly dignified with those preferments 
which had separately rewarded the learned labours of Cum- 
berland and Bentley. 

Smith laboured longer and succeeded less, yet he wisely 
chose his time for relaxation and retirement, whilst he was 
yet unexhausted by his toils, sufficiently aflfliuent to enjoy 
his independence, and, with the consciousness of having done 
his duty, to consult his ease, and to dibmiss his cares. 

Vincent, whom I love as a friend and honour as a scholar, 
has at length found that station in the deanery of Westmin- 
ster, which, whilst it relieves him from the drudgery of the 
school-master, keeps him still attached to the interests of 
the school, and eminently concerned in the superintendance 
and protection of it. As boy and man he made his passage 
twice through the forms of Westminster, rising step by step 
from the very last boy to the very captain of the school, and 
again from the junior usher through every gradation to that, 
of second and ultimately of senior master ; thus, with the 
interval of four years only devoted to his degree at Cam- 
bridge^ Westminster has indeed kept possession of his per- 
son, but has let the world partake with her in the profit of 
his researches. Without deserting the laborious post, to 
which his duty fettered him, his excursive genius led him 
over seas and countries far remote, to follow and develope 
tracts, redeem authorities and dig up evidences long buried 
in the grave of ages. This is the more to his honour as his 
hours of study were never taken but from his hours of relax- 
ation, and he stole no moment from the instruction of the 
boy to enrich the understanding of the man. His last work, 
small in bulk, but great in matter, was an unanswerable de- 
fence of public education, by which, with an acuteness that 
reflects credit on his genius, and a candour tliat does honour 
to his heart, he demonstrates the advantages of that system, 
which had so w^ell prospered under liis care, ai:id generously 


forbears to avail himself of those arguments, which in a con^ 
trove rsy with such an opponent some men would have re- 
sorted to. Let the mitred preacher against public schools 
rejoice in silence at his escape, but when the yet un-mitrcd 
master of the Temple, indisputably one of the first scholars 
and finest writers of his time, leaves the master of West- 
minster in possession of the field, it is not from want of cou- 
rage, it less can be from want of capacity, to prolong the 
contest ; it can only be from the operation of reason on a 
candid mind, and a clearer view of that system, which whilst 
he was denouncing he probably did not recollect that he w^as 
himself most unequivocally patronizing in the instance of his 
own son. Diversion of thought I well know is not uncom- 
mon with him, perversion never will be imputed to him. 

When I found upon coming into the Shell, that my sta- 
tion was to be quiescent, and that ail challenging for places 
was at an end, I regretted it as an opportunity lost for turn- 
ing out with new competitors, so much my seniors in age, 
and who seemed to regard me with an air of conscious supe- 
riority. I sate down, however, with ardor to my school 
business and also to my private studies, and I soon perceived 
, that I had now no discouragements to contend with in my 
attempts at composition, for the very first exercise in Latin 
verse, which I gave in, gained the candid approb^^tion of the 
master, and from that moment I acquired a degree of confi- 
dence in myself, that gave vigour to my exertions ; and 
though I bear all possible respect and gratitude to the me- 
mory of that kind friend of my youth, whose rigour was only , 
the effect of anxiety for my weil-doing, yet I cannot look 
back to this period of my education without acknowledging 
the advantages I experienced in being thus transplanted to 
Westminster, where to attempt was to succeed, and placed 
mider a master, whose principle it evidently w^as to cherish 
every spark of genius, which lie could discover in his scho- 
lars, and who seemed determined so to exercise his autho- 
rity, that our best motives for obeying him should spring 
from the affection, that we entertained for him. Arthur 
Kinsman certainly knew how to make his boys scholars ; 
Doctor Nichols had the art of making his scholars gentle- 
men ; for there is a court of honour in that school, to wdiose 
unwritten laws every member of our community v,'as amen- 
able, and whicjT to transgress by any act of meanness, that 
^^xposed the offender to public contempt, was o r'r orf- of 


punishment, compared to which the behig- sentenced to tlie 
rod would have been considered as an accjuittal or reprieve. 

Whilst I am makint^ thift remark an instance occurs to me 
of a certain boy from the fifth, who was summoned before 
the seniors in the seventh, and convicted of an offence, which 
in the high spirit of that school argued an abasement of prin- 
ciple and honour : Doctor Nichols having stated tlie case, 
demanded their opinion of the crime and what degree of 
punishment they conceived it to deserve ; tlicir answer was 
unanimously — «" The severest that could be inflicted."—" 1 
can inflict none more severe than you have given him," 
said the master, and dismissed him without any other chas- 

It was not many days after my admission that I myself 
stood before him as a culprit, having* been reported by the 
monitor for escaping out of the Abbey during divine ser- 
vice, and joining a party of my school-fellows for the unjus- 
tifiable purpose of intruding ourselves upon a meeting of 
quakers at their devotions. We had not been guilty of any 
gross impertinence, but the offence was highly i^prehensi- 
ble, and when my turn came to be called up to the master, 
1 presume he saw my contrition, when, turning a mild look 
upon me, he said aloud — Erubuit^ salva est res^ — and sent 
me back to my seat. 

Was it possible not to love a chamcter like this ? Nichols 
certainly was a complete fine gentleman in his office, and 
entitled to the respect and affection of his scholars, who in 
his person found a master not only of the dead languages, 
but also of the living manners. As for me, who had expe- 
rienced his lenity in the instance above related, it cannot be 
to my credit that I was destined to put his candour once 
more to the proof, yet so it was that in an idle moment I was 
disingenuous enough to give in an exercise in Latin verse, 
every line ofv/hich I had stolen out of Duport,if I rightly re- 
collect. It passed inspection without discovery, and Doctor 
Nichols, after commending me for the composition, read my 
verses aloud to the seniors in the seventh form, and was pro- 
ceeding to renew his praises, when being touched with re- 
morse for the disgraceful trick, by which I had imposed 
upon him, I fdriy confessed that I had pirated every sylla- 
ble, and humbly begged his pardon— -he paused a few mo- 
ments, and theii replied — '' Child, I forgive you ; go to 



^' your seat, and say notliiiig of the matter. You have gain^ 
•V ed move credit ^vith me by your mgenuous confession, 
" than you could have got by your verses, had they been 
" your own— -" I must be allowed to add, in palliation of 
this disreputable anecdote, that I had the grace to make vol- 
untary atonement next morning of an exercise as tolerable 
as my utmost pains and capacity could render it. I gave it 
in uncalled for ; it was graciously received, and I took occa- 
sion to apprize the seniors in the seventh, that I had repent- 
ed of my attempt. 

About this time the victory of Culloden having given the 
death's-blow to the rebel cause, the Lords Kilmarnock and 
Balmerino were beheaded upon Tower Hill. The elegant 
person of the former, and the intrepid deportment of the 
latter, when suffering en the scaffold, drew pity even from 
the most obdurate, and I believe it was at that time very 
generally lamented, that mercy, the best attribute of kings, 
v/asnot, or could not be, extended to embrace their melan- 
choly case : every heart that felt compassion for their fate 
could find a plea for theii' offence ; amongst us at school we 
had a great majority on the side of mercy, and not a few, 
v/ho in the spirit of those times, divided in opinion with their 
party. In the mean while it seemed a point of honour with 
the boys neither to inflame nor insult each other's feelings 
on this occasion, and I must consider the decorum observed 
by such young partisans on such an occasion as a circum- 
stance very iiighly to their credit. I don't doubt but respect 
•and delicacy towards our kind and well beloved master had a 
leading share in disposing them to that orderly and humane 

When the rebels were in march and had advanced to Der- 
by appearances were very gloomy ; there was a language 
held by some, who threw off all reserve, that menaced dan- 
ger, and intimidated many of the best affected. In the 
height of this alarm, the honourable Mrs. Wentv/orthjjgrand- 
mother of the late Marquis of Rockingham, fearing that the 
distinguished loyalty of her noble house might expose her 
to pillage, secured her papers and buried her plate, flymg 
to my father's house for refuge, where she remained an in- 
mate during the immediate pressure of the danger she ap- 
prehended. Here I found her at my breakmg up from 
school, a fugitive from her mansion at Harrowden, and re- 
siding in the parsonage house at Stanvrick. She was a ven- 


fcrable and excellent lady, and retailed her friendship fov 
iny family to her death : she gave mc a copy of the great 
Earl of Strafford's Letters in two fciio volumes, magnifi- 
cently bound. 

This was the time for my good fathc r, who I verily think 
never knew fear, to stand forward ill the exertion of that: 
popularity, which was almost without example. He had 
been cons]ticuously active in assembling the people of tiu^ 
neighbouring parishes, where his influence laid, and per- 
suaded them to enroll and turn out in the defence of their 
country. This he did in the very crisis of general despon- 
dency and alarm, whilst the disaffected in a near neighbour- 
ing quarter, abetted by a noble family, vvhich I need not 
name, in the height of their exultation vrere burning him in 
effigy, as a person most obnoxious to their principles and 
most hostile to their cause. In a shoit time, at the expense 
merely of the enlisting shilling per man, he raised two full 
companies of one hundred each for the regiment then en- 
rolling under the command of the Earl of Halifax, and 
marched them in person to Northampton, attended by four 
picked men on his four coach horses, where he was received 
on his entrance into the town with shouts and acclam.ations 
expressive of applause so fairly merited. The P>drl of Hal- 
ifax, then high in character and graceful in his person, re- 
ceived this tribute of my father's loyalty as might naturally 
be expected, and as a mark of his consideration insisted upor^ 
bestowing one of these companies upon me, for >vhich I had 
the commission, though I was then too young to take the 
command. An officer v/as named with the approbation cl 
my father, to act in my place, and the regiment set out on 
their route for Carlisle, then in the hands of the Highland- 
ers. There many of them lost their lives in the siege, and 
the small pox made such cruel havock amongst our young 
peasantry, that, although they had in the first instance been 
cheaply raised, the distresses of their families brought a very 
considerable and lasting charge upon the bounty of my fa- 

' I remained at Westminster school, as well as I can recol- 
lect, half a year in the Shell, and one year in the sixth form, 
and I cannot reflect upon this period of my education with- 
out acknowledging the reason I have to be contented with 
the time so passed. Idid not indeed drink long and deeply 
at the Helicon of that distinguished seminary, but I had a 


taste of the spring and felt the influence of the waters. In 
point of composition I particularly profited, for which I con- 
ceive there is m thct school a kind of taste and character, 
peculiar to itse*, and handed down perhaps from times long* 
past, which seems to mark it out for a distinction, that it 
may indisputably claim, that of having been above all others 
the most favoured cradle of the Muses. If any are disposed 
to question this asserlion, let therai turn to the Ir/es and his- 
tories of the poets and satisfy their doubts. I know there is 
a tide, that flows from the very fountain-head of power, that 
has long run strongly in another channekbut the vicinity of 
Windsor Castle is of no benefit to the discipline and good or- 
der of Eton School. A wise father will no more estimate 
his son's improvemicnt by the measure of his boarding house 
bills and pocket money amount, than a good soldier will fix 
his preference on a corps, because it happens to figure irii 
the most splendid uniform, and indulge in the most voluptu- 
ous and extravagant mess. 

When I returned to school I v/as taken as a boarder mto 
the family of Edmund Ashby, Esquire, elder brother of 
Waring, who had been married to my father's sister. This 
gentleman had a wife and three daughters, and occupied a 
spacious house in Peter Street, two doors from the turning 
out of College Street. Having been set aside by the will of 
his father, he was in narrow circumsta.nces, and his style of 
living v/as that of ceconomy upon the strictest scale. No 
visitor ever entered his doors, nor did he ever go out of them 
in search of amusement or society. Temperate in the ex- 
treme, placed and unruffled, he simply vegetated without 
occupation, did notliing, and had nothing to do, never seem- 
ed to trouble himself with much thinking, or interrupt the 
thoughts of others with much talking, and I don't recollect 
ever to have found him engaged with a newspaper, or a 
book, so that had it not been for the favours I received from 
a ibw Canary birds which the ladies kept,' I might as well 
have boarded in the convent of La Trappe. I confess my 
spirits felt the gloomy influence of the sphere I lived in, 
and my nights wer^ particularly long and heavy, annoyed as 
they were by the yells and bowlings of the crewsof the de- 
predators, vrhich infest that infamous quarter, and sometimes 
even roused and alarmed us by their pilfering attacks. In 
some respects however I was benefited by my removal froiji 
Ludford's, as I Was no longer under the strict confinement 



of a boarding house, but was once or twice allowed to go, 
under proper convoy, to the play, where for the first time in 
my life I was treated with the sight of Garrick in the cha- 
racter of Lothario ; Quin played Horatio, Ryan Altamont, 
Mrs. Cibber Calista and Mrs. Pritchard condescended to the 
humble part of Lavinia. I enjoyed a good view of the stage 
from the front row of the gallery, and my attention was ri- 
vetted to the scene. I have the spectacle even now as it 
were before my eyes. Qllin presented himself upon the 
I'ising of the curtain in a green velvet coat embroidered 
down the seams, an enormous full-bottomed perriwig, rolled 
stockings and high-heeled square-toed shoes : with very lit- 
le variation of cadence, and in a deep full tone, accompanied 
by a sawing kind of action, which had more of the senate 
tlian of the stage in it, he rolled out his heroics with an air 
of dignified indifference, that seem.ed to disdain the plaudits 
that were bestowed upon him. Mrs. Cibber in a key, high- 
pitched but sweet withal, sung or rather recitatived Rowe's 
harmonious strain,sQmething in the manner of thelmproyisa- 
tories ; it was so extremely wanting in contrast, that, though 
it did hot wound, the ear, it wearied it : when she had once 
recited two or three speeches, I could anticipate the manner 
of every succeeding one ; it was like a long old legendary 
ballad of innumerable stanzas, every one of which is sung to 
the same tune, eternally chiming in the ear without varia- 
tion or relief. Mrs. Pritchard was an actress of a different 
cast, had more nature, and of course more change of tone, 
and variety both of action and expression : in my opinion 
the comparison was decidedly in her favour ; but when after 
long and eager expectation I first beheld little Garrick, then ' 
young and light and aiive in every muscle and in every fea- 
ture, come bounding on the stage, and pointing at the wit- 
tol Altamont and heavy-paced Horatio— heavens vv^hat a 
transition ! it seemed as if a whole century had been stcpt 
over in the transition of a single scene ; old things were 
done away, and a nev/ order at once brought forwai^l bright 
and luminous, and clearly destined to dispel the barbarisms 
and bigotry of a tasteless age, too long attached to the pre- 
judices of custom, and superstitiously devoted to the illusions 
of imposing declamation. This heaven-born actor v.^as then 
struggling to emancipate his audience from the slavery they 
were resigned to, and though at times he Succeeded in throw- 
ing in some beams of nevr born lig-ht upon them, yet in gene- 

D Z 


ral they seemed to love darkness better than lights and in the 
dicUof^uc of altercation between Horatio nnd Lothario bestow- 
ed far the greater sho^ of haiids upon the master of the old 
school than upon the fomider of the nev>r. I thank my stars, 
my feeiings in those m.on\ents led me right ; they were 
those of nature, and therefore could not err. 

At the house of Mr. Ashby I had a room to myself, a soli- 
tude witljin it, and silence without ; I had no plea for neglect- 
ing- my studies, for I had no avocations to dmw me ofi; and 
no amusements to resort to, ' I pressed my privette studies 
without intermission, and having taken up the Georgicks 
for recreation-sake, I beQ:an to entertain myself with a trans- 
lation in blank verse of Virgil's beautiful description of the 
plague amongst the cattle, beginning at ver3e 478 of the 
third book, and continued to the end of the same, viz— - 
Hie quondom morbo cc^ll ^niseranda coortaest 
Temfiestas — See. 8cc. ' 

As this is one of the very fev/ samples of my Juvenilia^ 
which I have thought well enough of to preserve, I shall 
nov/ insert it verbatim from my first copy, and, without re- 
peating former apologies, submit it unaltered in a single in- 
stance to the candour of the reader — 

" Here once from foul and sickly vapours sprung 
^' A piteous plague, through all th' autumnal heats . 
*^ Fatally raging : not a beast throughout, 
" Savage or tame, escap'd the general bane. 
" The foodful pasture and frequented pool 
" Lay charg'd with mischief; death itself assum'd 
•^ Strange forms of horror, for when fiery drought 
*' Pervasive, coui^ing through the circling blood> 
*' The feeble limbs had wasted, straight again 
*^ The oozy poison work'd its cursed way, 
*^ Sapping the solid bones ; they by degrees 
" Sunk to corruption. Oftthe victim beast, 
" As at the altai^*s sacred foot it stood, 
^* With all its wreathy honours on its head, 
** Dropt breathless, and escap'd the tardy blow, 
^ Or if its lingering spirit might chance t' await 
" The priest's death-dealing, hand no flames arise 
" From the disposed entrails ; there they lie 
** In thick and unpresaging smoke obscur'd. 
^ The question'd augur holds his peace, and sees- 
^*- His divinaUon foii'd 5 the slaughtering blade 


« Scarce quits its ])aly hue, and the lii^ht sand 
** Scarce blushes with the thin and meaticrc blood. 

" Hence o'er the pasture rich and pleiiteous stalls 
" The tender herd in fragrant sighs expire ; 
<' Fell madness seizes the domestic dog ; 
" The pursy swine heave with repeated groans, 
" A rattling cough inflames their swelling throats : 
** No toils secure, no palm the victor-horse 
*^ Availeth, now no more the wholesome spring 
^' Delights, no longer now the bnce-Iov'd mead ; 
*' The fatal ill prevails ; with anguish stung 
" Raging he stamps, his ears hang- down relax'd ; 
" Sometimes an intermitting sweat breaks forthy 
** Cold ever at th' approach of death ; again 
" The dry and staring hide grows stiff and hard,. 
*^ Scorch'd and impasted with the feverish heat. 
" Such the first signs of riiin, but at length 
** When the accomplished and mature disease 
" With its collected and full vigour works, 
*' The red'ning eye-balls glow with baneful fire, 
** The deep and hollow breath wdth frequent groans, 
" Piteous variety — ! is sorely mix'd, 
*' And long-draw^n sighs distend the labouring sides ; 
" Then forth the porches of the nose descends, 
** As from a conduit, blood defil'd and black, 
'' And 'twixt the glew'd and unresolved jaws 
" The rough and clammy tongue sticks fastt— .at first 
" With generous wine they drench'd the closing throat; 
" Sole antidote, worse bane at last— for then 
** Dire madness — such as the just Gods to none 
" Save to the bad consign I — at the last pang 
" Arose, whereat their teeth with fatal gripe, 
*' like pale and ghastly executioners, 
" Their fair and sightly limbs all mangled o'er. 

*' The lab'ring ox, while o'er the furrow 'd land 
'^ He trails the tardy plough, dow^n drops at once, 
" Forth issues bloody foam, till the last groan 
" Gives a long close to his labours : The sad hind 
^' Unyokes his w4dow'd and complaiiiful mate, 
^' Leaving the blasted and imperfect w^ork 
" Where tlie fix'd ploughshare points the lukless spot. 
" The shady covert, where the lofty trees 
*^ Form cool retreat, the lawns, whose springing herb 



" Yields food ambrosial, the transparent stream, 

" Which o'er the jutting stones to th' neighb'ring meed 

" Takes its fantastic course, these now no more 

" Delight, as they were wont, rather afflict, 

" With him they cheer'd, with him their joys expir'd, 

" Joys only in participation dear : 

" Famine instead stares in his hollow sides, 

" His leaden eye-balls, motionless and fix'd, 

" Sleep in their sockets, his unnerved neck 

" Drooping down, death lays his load upon him, 

" And bows him to the ground — ^what now avail 

" His useful toils, his life of service past ? 

" What though full oft he tum'd the stubborn glebe, 

" It boots not now — yet have these never felt 

" The ills of riot and intemperate draughts, 

" Where the full goblet crowns the luscious feast : 

" Their only feast to graze the springing herb 

" O'er the fresh lawn, or from the pendant bough 

" To crop the savoury leaf, from the clear spring, 

" Or active stream refined in its course, 

" They slake their sober thirst, their sweet repose 

** Nor cares forbid, nor soothing arts invite, 

** But pure digestion breeds and light repast. 

" 'Twas then great Juno's altar ceas'd to smoke 
" With blood of bullocks, and the votive car 
^^ With huge mis-shapen buffaloes was drawn 
" To the high temples. Each one till'd his field, 
^' Each sow'd his acres with their owner's hand, 
" Or, bending to the yoke with straining neck, 
•* Up the high steep dragg'd the slow load along. 
" No more the wolle with crafty siege infests 
** The nightly fold ; more pressing cares than these 
*' Engage the sly contriver and subdue. 
" The fearful deer league with the hostile hound, 
^^ And piy about the charitable d6or 
•' Familiar, unannoy'd. The mighty deep 
*< At every mouth disgorg'd the scaly tribe, 
" And on the naked shore expos'dto view 
" The various wreck : the farthest rivers felt [shapes. 
*^ The vast discharge and swarm'd v/ith monstrous 
" In vain the viper builds his mazy cell ; 
'^ Death follows him through all his wiles : in vain 
'' The snake involves him deep beneath the flood, " 
^^ Wond'ring he starts, erects his scales and dies. 


" The birds themselves confess the tainted air, 
" Drop while on wing, and as they sour expire. 
*^ Nought now avails the pasture fresh and new ; 
" Each art applied turns opposite ; e'en they, 
" Sage Chiron, sage Mekimpus, they despair, 
" Whilst pide Tisiphone, come fresh from hell, 
" Driving before her Pestilence and Fear, 
" Her ministers of vengeance to fulfil 
" Pier dread commission, rages all abroad, 
*^ And lifts herself on ruin day by day 
" More and more high. The hollow banks resound, 
" The wiiij^ling streams and hanging hills repeat 
" Loud groans from ev'ry herd, from ev'ry fold 
" Complaintive murmers ; heaps on heaps they fall, 
'' There where they fall they lie, corrupt and rot 
" Within the lothsome stalls, fiii'd and dam'd up 
" With impure carcases, till they perform 
" The necessary office and confine 
" Deep under ground the foul offensive stench : 
" For neither might Vou dress the putrid hide 
" Nor could the purifying stream. remove, 
" The vigorous all-subduing flame expel 
" The close incorporate poison : none essay'd 
" To shear the tainted fleece, or bind the wool, 
" For who e'er dar'd to clothe his desp'rate limbs 
'^ With that Nessean garment, a foul sweat, 
" A vile and lep'rous tetter barked about 
" All his smooth body^ Nor long he endur'd, 
" But in the sacred fire consum'd and died." 
A great and heavy aflfiiiction now befel my parents and my- 
self. A short time before my holidays in autumn my father 
and mother earner to town, and brought my eldest sister Jo- 
anna with.them, a very lovely girl, then in her seventeenth 
year. She caught the small-pox, and died in the house of 
the Reverend Doctor Cutts Barton, Rector of St. Andrew's, 
Holborn, who kindly permitted my futher to remove thither, 
when she sickened with that cruel disease. She was truly 
most engaging in her person, and though much admired, 
her manners were extremely modest, and her tem^per mild 
and gentle. When I first visited her after the symptoms of 
the disease were upon her, she told me she was persuaded 
she had caught tiie small-pox, and that it would be fatal to her. 
, Her augury was too tiiue \ it w^is confluent; and assistance 


was in vain ; the regimen then followed was exactly contra- 
ry to the present improved method of treating that disease, 
which, when it had kept her in torments for eleven days, 
having effectually destroyed her beauty, finally put an end 
to her life. My father, who tenderly loved her, submitted 
to the affiicting dispensation in silent sadness, never venting 
a complaint ; my mother's sorrows were not under such con- 
trouL and as to me, devoted to her as I had been from my 
cradle, the shock appeared to threaten me with such con- 
sequences, that my father resolved upon taking me out of 
town immediately, and we went down to our abode at Stan- 
wick, a sad and melancholy party, while Mr. Ashby, my 
father's nephew, staid in town and attended the body of his 
lamented cousin to the grave. My surviving sisters, Eliza- 
beth and Mary, the elder of whom was six years younger 
than myself, had been left in the country ; the attentions, 
which these young creatures had a claim to, the consolatory 
visits of our friends, and the healing hand of time by degrees 
assuaged the keenness of affliction, and patient resignation 
did the rest. 

The alarm which my father had been vinder on account of 
my health upon my sister's death, and the abhorrence he had 
conceived of London since that unfoitunate event, deter- 
mined him against my return to Westminster, and though 
another year, which my early age might well have dispen- 
sed with, was recommended by Doctor Nichols, and would 
miost probably have been so employed with advantage to my 
education, yet the measure was taken, and, though only in 
my fourteenth year, I was admitted of Trinity College in 
Cambridge. There were yet some months of the vacation 
unexpired, and that I might pass this time at home with the 
more advantage, my father prevailed upon a neighbouring 
clergyman, the Reverend Mr. Thomas Strong, to reside 
with us and assist me in my studies. A better man I never 
knew, a brighter scholar might easily have been found, yet 
we read together some few hours in every day, and those 
readings were almost entirely confined to the Greek Testa- 
ment : there I had a teacher in Mr. Strong well worthy of 
my best attention, for none could better recommend by prac- 
tice what he illustrated by precept, than this exemplary 
young man. He sometime after married very happily, and 
resided on his living of Hargrave in our neighborhood.uni- 
versally respected, and I trust it is not amongst my sins of 


omission ever after to have forgotten his services, or failed 
in niy attention to him. 

When the time came for me to commence my residence 
in College, my father accompanied mc and put me under 
the care of the Reverend Doctor Morgan, an old friend of 
our family, and a senior fellow of that society. My rooms 
were closely adjoining to his, belonging to that staircase 
which leads to the chapel bell ; he w as kind to me when we 
met, but as tutor I had few communications v/ilh him, for 
the gout afforded him not many intervals of ease, and with 
the exceptions of a few trifling readings in Tully's Offices, 
by which I was little edified, and to which I paid little or no 
attention, he left me and one other pupil, my friend and in- 
timate, Mr. William Rudd of Durham, to choose and per- 
use cur studies, as we saw fit. This dereliction of us was 
inexcusable, for Rudd was a youth of fine talents and a wcli 
grounded scholar. In the course of no long timxC, however, 
Doctor Morgan left College, and went to reside upon his 
living of Gainford, in the bishoprick of Durham, and I v/as 
turned over to the Reverend Doctor Philip Young, professor 
of oratory in the University, and afterwards Bishop of Nor- 
wich ; what Morgan made a very light concern, Young 
made an absolute sinecure, for from him I never received a 
single lecture, and I hope his lordship's conscience was not 
much disturbed on my account, for, though he gave me free 
leave to be idle, I did not make idleness my choice. 

In the last year of my being under-graduate, when I com- 
menced Soph, in the very first act that was given out to be 
kept in the mathematical schools, I was appointed to an op- 
ponency, when at that time I had not read a single proposi- 
tion in Euclid ; I had now been just turned over to Mr. Back- 
liouse, the Westminster tutor, who gave regular lectures, 
and fulfilled the duties of his charge, ably and conscientiously. 
Totally unprepared to answer the call now made upon me, 
and acquit myself in the schools, I resorted to him in my dis- 
tress, and through his interference my name was withdrawn 
from the act ; in the mean time I was sent for by the master 
Doctor Smith, the learned author of the well knov/n Trea* 
tisesupon Optics and Harmonies, and the worthy successor 
to my grandfather Bentiey, v/ho strongly reprobated the 
neglect of my former tutors, and recommended me to lose 
no more time in preparing myself for my degree, but to 
apply closely to my cicadeniical studies for the remainder ^jf 
the year, which I assured him I would do. 


As I did not belong to Mr. Backhouse till I had commen- 
ced Soph, but nomiiiully to those, who left me by myself, 
I had hitherto pursued those studies'that were familiar to me, 
and indulged my passion for the classicvS, with an ardor that 
rarely knew any intermission or relief, I certainly did not 
wantonly misuse my time, nor yield to any even of the slight- 
est excesses, that youth is prone to : I never frequented any 
tavern, neither gave nor received entertainments, nor par- 
took in any parties of pleasure, except now and then in a 
ride to the hills, so that I thank God I have not to reproach 
myself with any instances of misconduct towards a generous 
father, who at this tender age committed me to my ov/n dis- 
cretion and confided in me. I look back therefore upon 
this period of my liie with a tranquil conscience ; I even 
dwell upon it with peculiar delight, for witnin those mater- 
nal walls I passed years given up to study and those intellect- 
ual pure enjoyments, winch ieuve no self reproach, whilst 
with the works of my ancestors in my hands, and the im- 
pression of their examples on my heart, I flattered myself 
in the belief that I v/as pressing forward ardently and suc- 
cessfully to follow them in tlieir profession, and peradven- 
ture not fall far behind them in their fame. 

This was the great aim and object of my ambition : for 
this I laboured, to this point I looked, and all my world was 
centered in my college. Every scene brought to my mind 
the pleasing recollection of times past, and hlled it Vvith the 
animating hope of times to come : as my college duties and 
attendances were occupations that I took pleasure in, punct- 
uality and obedience did not put me to the trouble of an 
effort, for when to be employed is our amussment, there is 
no self-denial in not being idle. If I had then had a tutor, 
who would have systematized and arranged my studies, it 
vrould have been happy for me ; but I had no such director, 
and Avith my books before me, (poets, historians cind philo- 
sophers) sate down as it were to cana dubia^ with an eager, 
rather than a discriminating, appetite ; I am now speaking 
of my course of reading from my admission to my com- 
mencing Soph, v/hen I was called off to my academical stu- 
dies. In that period my stock of books was but slender, till 
Doctor Richard Bentley had the goodness to give me a val- 
uable parcel of my grandfather's books and papers, contain- 
ing his correspondence with many of the foreign literati upon 
^■^ints of criiicij:>mj some letters from Sir Isaac Newton, a 


pretty large body of notes for an edition of Lucan's Pharsa- 
lia, which I gave to my uncle Bentley, and were published 
under his inspection by Dodsley, at Mr. Waipolc's press, 
vdth sundry other manuscripts, and a considerable number 
of Greek and Latin books, mostly collated by him, and their 
margins filled with alterations and corrections in his own 
hand, neatly and legibly written in a very small character. 
The possession of these books was most gratifying k, accept- 
able to me ; some few of them were extremely rare, and in 
the history I have given in T/ie Odseroei^ of the Greek Wri- 
ters, niore particularly of the Comic Poets now lost, -I have 
availed myself of them, and I am vain enough to believe no 
such collection of the scattered extracts, anecdotes and re- 
miains of those dramatists is any where else to be found. 
The doner of these books was the nephew of my grandfa- 
ther, and inherited by will the v/hole of his library, which 
at his death was sold by auction in Leicestershire, where he 
pesided in his latter years on his rectory of Nail-stone : he 
was himself no inconsiderable collector? and it is much to 
be regretted that his executors took this method of dispo- 
sing of his books, by which they became dispersed in small 
lots amongst many country purchasers, who probably did 
not know their value. He was an accurate collator, and for 
his judgment in editions much resorted to by Doctor Mead, 
with wdiom he lived in great intimacy, ikudng the time 
that he resided in college, for he was one of the senior 
fellows of Trinity, he gave me every possible proof, not 
only in this instance of his donation, but in many others^ 
of his favour and protection. 

At the same time Doctor Richard Walker, the friend of 
my grandfather, and vice-master of the college, never fail- 
ed to distinguish me by every kindness in his pov/er. He 
frequently invited me to his rooms, which I had so oft^n 
visited as a child, and which had the further merit with me 
as having been the residence of Sir Isaac Nev/ton, every 
relick of w^liose studies and experiments were respectfully 
preserved to the minutest particular, and pointed out to me 
by the good old vice-master with the m.ost circumstantial 
precision. He had many little anecdotes of my grandfatherj 
wJiiich to me at least were interesting, and an old servant De- 
borah, whom he made a kind of companion ,,and vrho was 
mtich in request for the many entertaining circumstances 
^'Ik could narrate of Sii^ Isaac Newton, when she waited upon 


him as his bedmakcr, and also of Doctor Bentley, with whom 
she lived for several years after Sir Isaac left College, and 
at the death of my grandfather was passed over to Doctor 
Walker, in whose service she died. 

My mind in these happy days was so ti*anqiiil, and my 
time passed in so uniform a tenor of study and retirement, 
that though it is a period pleasing to me to reflect upon, yet 
it furnishes little that is worthy to be recorded. I believe I 
hardly ever employed myself upon English composition, 
except on the event of the Prince of Wales's death, when 
amongst others I sent in my contribution of elegiac verses 
to the university volume, and very indifferent ones they 
were. To my Latin declamations I paid my best attention, 
for these were recited publicly in the chapel after evening 
prayers on Saturdays, when it was open to all, who chose to 
resort thither, and we were generally flattered by pretty 
full audiences. 

The year of trial now commenced, for which, through the 
neglect of my tutors, I was, as an academical student, totally 
unprepared. Determined to use every effort in my power 
for redeeming my lost time, I began a course of study so 
apportioned as to allow myself but six hours sleep, to which 
I strictly adhered, living almost entirely upon milk, and 
using the cold bath very frequently. As I was then only 
seventeen years old, and of a frame by no means robust, 
many of my friends remonstrated against the severity of 
this regimen, and recommended more moderation, but the 
cncouragment I met in the rapidity of my progress through 
all the dry and elementary parts of my studies, determined 
me to persist with ardour, and made me deaf to their advice. 
In the several branches of the mechanics, hydrostatics, 
optics and astronomy, I consulted the best treatises, and 
made m.yself master of them ; I worked all propositions, 
formed all my minutes, and even my thoughts, in Latin, 
whereby I acquired a facility of expounding, solving and 
arguing in that language, in which I may presume to say I 
had advantages, which some of the best of my contempom- 
ries in our public disputations were but too sensible of, for 
so long as my knowledge of a question could supply matter 
for argument, I never felt any want of tenns for explar a- 

When I found myself prepared to take my part in the pub- 
lic schools, I thirsted for the opportunity, which I no longer 


dreadecl/rmd with this my ambition was soon gratificd^bdn^ 
appointed to keeii an act^ and three respectable opponents 
singled out against me, the first of which was looked up to 
as the best of the year. When his name was given out for 
disputation the schools never failed to be crowded, and as I 
had drawn my questions from Newton' s Principia, I gave 
him fair scope for the display of his superiority, and was by 
all considered, (for his fame was universal) as a mere child 
in his hands, justly to be punished for my temerity, and 
self-devoted to complete confutation. I was not oldy a mere 
novice in the schools but also a perfect stranger to the gen- 
tlemen opposed tome; when therefore mounted on a bass 
in the rostrum, which even then I could scarcely overtop, I 
contemplated, in the person of my antagonist, a North- 
country blaok-bearded philosopher, who at an advanced age 
had admitted at St. John's to qualify for holy orders, (even 
at that time a finished mathematician and a private lecturer 
in those studies,) I did not wonder that the contrast of a 
beardless boy, pale and emaciated as I w^as then become, 
seemed to attract every body's curiosity ; for after I had 
concluded my thesis, which precedes the disputation, when 
he ascended his seat under the rostrum of the Moderator— 

With grave 

jisfiect he rose^ and in his rising seemed 

A pillar of strength — deefi in his front engraven 

Deliberation sate — sage he stood 

With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear 

The weight of mightiest argument 
Formidable as he appeared, I did not feel my spirits sink, 
for I had taken a very careful survey of the ground I was 
upon, and thought myself prepared against any attack he 
could devise against me. I also saw that all advantages, re- 
sulting from the unequal terms on which we engaged, were 
on my side ; I might obtain glory from him, and he covild 
but little profit by his triumph over me. My heart was in 
my cause, and proudly measuring its importance by the 
crowd it had collected, armed, as I believed myself to be, in 
the full understanding of my questions, and a perfect readi- 
ness in the language, in which our disputations wxre to be 
carried on, I waited his attack amidst the hum and murmur 
of the assembly. His argument was purely mathematical, 
and so enveloped in the terms of his art, as made it some- 
what difficult for me to discover wliere his syllogism pointed 


without those aids and delineations, which our process did 
not allow of ; I availed myself of my privilege to call for a 
repetition of it, when at once I caught the fallacy and pursu- 
ed it with advantage, keeping the clue firm in hand till I 
completely traced him through all the windings of his laby- 
rinth. The same success attended me through the remain- 
iilg seven arguments, which fell off in strength and subtlety, 
and his defence became sullen and morose, his latinity very 
harsh, inelegant and embarrassed,^ till I saw him descend 
with no very pleasant countenance, whilst it appeared evi- 
dent to me that my whole audience were not displeased with 
the unexpected turn, which our controversy had taken. He 
oup;ht in course to have been succeeded by a second and 
third opponent, but our disputation had already been pro- 
longed beyond the time commonly allotted, and the schools 
were broken up by the Moderator with a compliment ad- 
dressed to me in terms much out of the usual course on 
such occasions. 

If it is allowable for me to speak of such trifling ^ events 
circumstantially and with the importance, which at that time 
I attached to them, when I knew nothing of this great world 
beyond the walls of my college, I hope this passage will be 
read with candour, and that I shall be pardoned for a long 
tale told in my old age of the first triumph of my youth, 
earned by extreme hard labour, and gained at the risque and 
hazard of my health by a persevera.nce in so severe a course 
of study, as brought me ultimately to the very brink of the 

Four times I went through these scholastic exercises in 
the course of the year, keeping two acts and as many first 
opponencies. In one of the latter, where I was pitched 
tigainst an ingenious student of my own college, I contrived 
to form certain arguments, which by a scale of deductions 
so artfully drawn, and involving consequences, which by 
mathematical gradations (the premises being once granted) 
led to such unforeseen confutation, that even my tutor Mr. 
Backhouse, to v/hom I previously imparted them, v/as effec- 
tually trapped and could as little parry them, as the gentle- 
man, who kept the act, or the Moderator, who filled the 

The 4ast time I was called upon to keep an act in the 
schools, I sent in three questions to the Moderator, which 
he understood as all mathematical, and required me to con- 


foitn to the usage of proposing one metaphysical question in 
the place of that, which I should think fit to withdraw. This 
was i^round I never liked to take, and I appealed against his 
requisition : the act was accordingly put by till the matter 
of right should be ascertained by the statutes of the univer- 
sity, and in the result of that inquiry it was given for me, 
and my questions stood. This litigation between the Mo- 
derator and an Under-graduate, whose interest in the distri- 
bution of honors, at the ensuing degree, laid so much at the 
mercy of his report, made a considerable stir and gave rise 
to much conversation ; so that when this long suspended act 
took place, not only the floor of the schools v/as filled with 
the juniors, but many of high standing in the university as- 
sembled in the gallery. The Moderator had nominated the 
same gentleman as my first opponent, who no doubt felt 
every motive to renew the contest, and bring me to a proper 
iSense of my presumption. The term was now drawing near 
to its close, and I began to feel very sensibly the effects of 
my too intense application, my whole frame being debilitate 
ed in a manner, that warned me I had not long to continue 
my course of labour without the interruption of some seri- 
ous attack ; I had in fact the seeds of a rheumatic fever lurk- 
ing in my constitution, and was led between two of my 
friends and fellow collegians to the schools in a very feeble 
state. I was, however, intellectually alive to all the purpo- 
ses of the business we were upon, and when I observed that 
the Moderator exhibited symptoms of indisposition by rest- 
ing his head upon the cushion on his desk, I cut short my 
thesis to make way for my opponent, who had hardly brought 
his argument to bear, when the Moderator, on the plea of 
sudden indisposition, dismissed me with a speech, which^ 
though tinctured with some petulance, had more of praise 
in it than I expected to receive. 

I yielded now to advice, and paid attention to my healthy 
till we were cited to the senate house to be examined for our 
Bachelor's degree. It was hardly ever my lot during that 
examination to enjoy any respite. I seemed an object sin- 
gled out as every man^s mark, and was kept perpetually at 
the table under the process of question and answer. My 
constitution just held me up to the expiration of the scru- 
tiny, and I immediately hastened ta my ov/n home to alarm 
my parents with my ghastly looks, and soon fell ill of a rheu-^ 
matic ftver, which for the space of six mgntha kept me hav- 

£ 2 


erin(v between life and death. The skill of my physician, 
the afm-ementioned Doctor Wallis of Stamford, and the ten- 
d<?r attention of the dear friends about me, rescued me at 
length, and I recovered under their care. Whilst I was in 
this state I had the pleasure of hearing from Cambridge of 
the high station, which had been adjudged to me amongst 
The Wranglers of my year, and I further understood how 
much 1 was indebted to the generous support of that very 
Moderator, whom I had thwarted in the matter of my ques* 
tions, for this adjudication so much in my favour and per- 
haps above my mertis, for my knowledge had been hastily 
attained : a conduct so candid on the part of the Reverend 
Mr. Ray, (fellow of Corpus Christi, and the Moderator of 
whom I have been speaking) was ever remembered by me 
with gratitude and respect : Mr. Ray was afterwards domes- 
tic chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and when I 
v/as resident in town, I waited upon him at Lambeth palace, 
to express my sensibility of the very liberal manner in 
Y/hich he had protected mte. 

I novr" found myself in a station of ease and credit in my 
native college, to which I was attached by every tie, that 
could endear it to me. I had changed my Under-graduatx's 
gown, and obtained my degree of Bachelor of Arts with 
lionours hardly ieamed by pains the more severe because so 
long postponed : and nov/ if I have been seemingly. too ela- 
borate in tracing my own particular progress through these 
exercises, to which the candidate for a degree at Cambridge 
must of necessity conform, it is not merely because I can 
quote my privilege for my excuse, but because I would 
most earnestly impress upon the attention of my reader the 
extreme usefulness of these academical exercises and tKe 
studies appertaining to them, by which I consider all the 
purposes of an university education are completed ; and so 
convinced am I of this, that I can hardly allow myself to call 
that an education, of which they do not make a part ; if 
therefore I am to speak for the discipline of the schools,, 
ought I not first to show that I am speaking from experi- 
ence, without which opinions pass for nothing ? Having 
therefore first demonstrated what miy experience of that 
discipline has been, I have the authority of that, a.s far as it 
goes, for an opinion in its favour, which every observation 
of my life has since contributed to est?vblish and confirm » 
What more can any system of education hold out to tiiOse>. 


who are the objects of it, than public honours to distinguish 
merit, public exercises to awaken emulation, and public ex- 
aminations, which cannot be passed without extorting some 
exertion even from the indolent, nor can be avoided without 
a marked disj^race to the a^mfiounder ? Now if I have any 
knowledge of tiiC world, any insight into the minds and 
characters of those, whom I have had opportunities of know- 
ing, (and few have lived more and longer amongst mankind) 
all my observations tend to convince me that there is no 
profession, no art, no station or concHtion in life, to which 
the studies I have been speaking of will not apply and come 
in aid with profit and advantage. That niode of investiga- 
tion step by step, which crowns the process of the student 
by the demonstration and discovery of positive and mathe- 
matical truth, so exercise and train him in the habits of fol- 
lowing up his subject, be it what it may, and working out 
his proofs, as cannot fail to find their uses, v/hether he, 
who has them, dictates from the pulpit, argues at the bar, 
or declaims in the senate ; nay, there is no lot, no station, 
(I repeat it with confidence) be it either social or sequester- 
ed, conspicuous or obscure, professional or idly indepen- 
dent, in w^hich the man, once exercised in these studies, 
though he shall afterwards neglect them, will not to his com- 
iort experience some mental powers and resources, in 
which their influence shall be felt, though the channels, that 
conducted it, may from disuse have become obscure, and 
no longer to be traced. 

Hear the crude opinions, that are let loose upon society 
in our table conversations ; mark the wild and w^andering ar- 
guments, that are launched at random without ever hitting 
the mark they should be levelled at ; wiiat does ail this noise 
and nonsense prove, but that the talker has acquired the flu- 
ency of words, but never known the exercise of thought, or 
attended to the developement of a single proposition ? Tell 
him that he ought to hear what may be sai<.l on the other 
side of the question — he agrees to it, and either begs leave 
to wind up with a few words more, which he winds and wire- 
draws without end ; or having paused to hear, hears with 
impatience a very little, foreknows every thing you had fur- 
ther to say, cuts short your argument and bolts in upon you 
■ — ^»vith an answer to that argument — I No ; with a continua- 
tion of his own gabble, and, having stifled you with the tor- 
rent of his trash, places your contempt to the credit of his- 


own capacity, and foolishly conceives he talks with reason 
because he has not patience to attend to any reasoning but 
his own. 

What are all the quirks and quibbles, that skirmishers in 
controversy catch hold of to escape the point of any argu- 
ment, when pressed upon them ? If a laugh, a jeer, a hit 
of mimickry, or buffoonery cannot parry the attack, they 
find themselves disarmed of the only weapons they can wield, 
and then, though truth should stare them in the face, they 
will affect not to see it : instead of receiving conviction as 
the acquirement of something, which they had not them- 
selves, and have gained from you, they regard it as an in- 
sult to their understandmgs, and grow sullen and resentTul ; 
they will then tell you they shall leave you to your own opin- 
ions, they shall say no more, and with an air of importance 
wrap themselves up in a kind of coutemptuous indifference^ 
when their reason for saying nothing is only because they 
have nothing more to say. How many of this cast of char- 
acter are to be met with in the world every man of the world 
can witness. 

There are also others, v/hose vivacity of imagination hav- 
ing never felt the trammels of a syllogism is for ever flying 
off into digression and display — 

Quo teneam nodo mutantem Proteaformas ? 

To attempt at hedging m these cuckows is but lost labour. 
These gentlemen are very entertaining as long as novelties 
with no meaning can entertain you ; they have a great vari- 
ety of opinions, which, if you oppose, they do not defend, and 
if you agree with, they desert. Their talk is like the wild 
notes of birds', amongst which you shall distinguish some of 
pleasant tone, but out of which you compose no tune or har- 
mony of song. These men would have set down Archime- 
des for a fool when he danced for joy at the solution of a 
proposition, and mistaken Newton for a madman, when in 
the surplice, which he put on for chapel over night, he 
was found the next morning in the same place and pos- 
ture fixed in profound meditation on his theory of the 
prismatic colours. So great is their distaste for demonstra- 
tion, they think no truth is worth tlie waitmg for ;. the moun- 
tain must come to them, they are not by half so complai- 
sant as Mahomet. They are not easily reconciled to tru- 
isms, but have no particular objection to impossibilities 
For argument they have no ear ; it does not touch them \ \\ 



fetters fancy, and dulls the edge ofrepartee ; if by chance they 
find themselves in an untenable position, and wit is not at hand 
to help them out of it, they will take up with a pun, and 
ride home upon a horse laugh : if they can't keep their 
ground, they won't wait to be attacked or driven out of it. 
Whilst a reasoning man will be picking his way out of a di- 
lemma, they, who never reason at all, jump over it, and 
land themselves at once upon new ground, where they take 
an imposing attitude, and escape persuit. Whatever these 
va^n do, whether they talk, or write, or act, it is without 
deliberation, without consistency, without plan. Having 
no expanse of mind, they can comprehend only in part ; 
they will promise an epic poem, and produce an epigram : 
In short, they glitter, pass away and are forgotten; their 
outset makes a show of mighty things, they stray out of 
their course into bye-ways and obliquities, and when out of 
sight of their contemporaries, are forever lost to posterity. 

When characters of this sort come under our observation 
it is easy to discover that tlieir levities and frivolities have 
their source in the errors and defects of education, for it is 
evident they have not been trained in any principles of right- 
reasoning. Therefore it is that I hold in such esteem the 
academical studies pursued at Cambridge, and regard their 
exercises in tiie mathematical schools, and their examina- 
tions in the tiieatre, as forming the best system, which this 
country offers, for the education of its youth. Persuaded as 
I am of this, I must confess I have ever considered tlic elec- 
tion of scholars from the college of Eton to that of King's in 
Cambridge, as a bar greatly in their disfc^vour, forasmuch as 
by the constitution of tliat college they are not subjected to 
the same process for attaining their degrees, and of course 
the study otthe mathematics makes no part of their system, 
but is merely optional. I leave this remark to those, who 
may think it worthy of their consideration. Under-gradu- 
ates of Trinity College, whether elected from Westminster 
or not, have no such exemptions. 

' Having now, at an age more than commonly early, ob- 
iained my Bachelor's degree, with the return of health I re- 
sumed my studies, and v/ithout neglecting those I had so 
lately been engaged in, again took up those authors, who 
had lain by untouched for a whole tv/eivcmonth. I suppos- 
ed my line in life was decided for the church, the profession 
of my ai)cestorsj and in the course of three years I had 


good reason to expect a fellowship with the degree of Mas- 
ter of Arts. These views, so suited to my natural disposi- 
tion, were now before me, and I dv/eit upon them with entire 

Having now been in the habit of reading ^pon system, I 
resolved to put m.y thoughts together upon paper, and be- 
gan to form a kind of Collectanta of my studies. With this 
view I got together all the tracts relative to the controversy 
between Boyle and Bentley, omitting none even of the au- 
thorities and passages they referred to, and having done this, 
I compressed the reasonings on both sides into a kind of a 
statemxcnt and report upon the question in dispute, and if 
in the result my judgment went with him, to whom my in- 
clination leant, no learned critic of the present age will con- 
demn me for the decision. 

When I had accomplished this, I meditated on a plan lit- 
tle short of what might be projected for an Universal His- 
tory, or at least for that of the Great Empires in particular. 
For this purpose I began with studying the Sanchoniatho of 
Bishop Cumberland, contrasting the Phoenician and Egyp- 
tian Cosmogonies with that of Moses, by which I found my- 
self at length involved in references to so many authors, 
which I had no means of consulting, and so hampered by 
Oriental languages, which I did not understand, that after 
filling a large folio foul-book, which I still keep in possession^ 
I gave up the task, or more properly speaking reduced it to 
a more contracted scale, in which, however, I contrived to 
review all the several systems of the Heathen Philosophers, 
and discuss at large the tenets and opinions maintained and 
professed by their respective schools and academies. This 
was a work of labour and considerable research, and having 
had lately occasion to resort to it for certain purposes, which 
I have in hand, I must do myself the justice to say, I found 
it very accui^te, and derived all the aid and information from 
it that I expected or required. That I was at that age dis- 
posed and able to apply my mind to a work so operose and 
argumentative I ascribe entirely to the nature of the stu- 
dies, and the habitudes of thinking, I had so recently been 
engaged in. 

Thus, after wandering at large for a considerable time 
without any one to guide me, I was at last compelled to 
chalk out for myself a settled plan of reading, which, if I had 
not been disciplined as above described, I certainly should 


have long postponed, or perhaps never have struck out. 
Why will not those, whose duty it is to superintend the 
education of their pupils in our universities, when they dis- 
cover talents and a thirst for learning, point out to the stu- 
dent the best and nearest road to its attainment ? It is surely 
within their province to do it, and the benefit would be in- 

I well remember when I was newly come to college, with 
,what avidity I read the Greek tragedians, and with what re- 
verence I swallowed the absurdities of their chorus, and was 
bigoted to their cold character and rigid unities ; and when 
Mason of Pembroke-Hall published his Elfrida after theiF 
model, though I did not quite agree with him as to his choice 
of plot, or the perfect legitimacy of his chorus, yet I was 
warm in my praises of that generally-admired production, 
and in imitation of it planned and composed an entire drama, 
of which Charactacus was the hero, with I^ards and Druids 
attached to it as a chorus, for whom I wrote Odes in the 
manner of Elfrida ; I have this manuscript now in my pos- 
session, and it is flattering to my choice of subject that Ma- 
son, with whom I had no communication or correspondence, 
should afterwards strike upon the same character for the 
hero of his drama : but though in this particular I have the 
good chance to agree with him, in point of plot I strayed 
equally from him and from the history, for not writing with 
any thoughtof publication, I wove into my drama some cha- 
racters and several incidents perfectly fictitious : there is a 
good deal of fancy and some strong writing in it, but as a 
whole it must be read with allowances, and I shall therefore 
pass it over, not wishing to make too many demands upon 
the candour of the reader. 

Whilst I was thus living with my family at Stanwick in 
the enjoyment of every thing that could constitute my feli- 
city, a strong contest took place upon the approach of the 
general election, and the county of Northampton was hotly 
canvassed by the rival parties of Knightly and Hanbury, or 
m other words by the Tories and tlie Whigs. My father, 
whose politics accorded with the latter, w^as drawn out upon 
this occasion, and gave a very active and effectual support 
to his party, and though the cause he embarked in was un- 
successful, yet his particular exertions had been such, that 
he might truly have said — 

Si Pergama dextra 
Defcndi fiOB^enty ctiam hac dcfensi fuissait , 


This second striking instance of his popularity and influ- 
ence was by no means Overlooked by the Earl of Halifax, 
then high in office and Lord Lieutenant of the county. Of- 
fers, which he did not court, were pressed upon him, but 
though he^was resolute in declining all favours personal to 
himself, yet he was persuaded to lend an ear to flattering^ 
situations pointed out for me, and my destiny was now pre-, 
paring to reverse those tranquil and delectable scenes, which 
I had hitherto enjoyed, and to transplant me from the clois- 
ters of my college, and free range of my studies, to the 
desk of a private secretary, and the irksome painful restraints 
of dependeaicc. 

Let me not by my statement of this event appear to lay. 
any thing to the charge of my ever dear and honored father ; 
if I were unnaturally disposed to find a fault in his proceed- 
ing upon this occasion, I must search for it amongst his 
virtues ; he was open, warm and unsuspecting ; apt to credit 
others for what was natural to himself, ever inclined to look 
only on the best side of men and things^ and certainly not 
one of the children of this world. If I have cause to regret 
this departure from the line, in which by education I had 
been trained, I am the author of my own misfortune ; I was 
perfectly a free agent, and have nobody but myself to accuse. 
My youth, however, and the still unsettled state of my 
health spared me for a time, and my father proposed an ex- 
cursion to the city of York, for the double purpose of my re- 
laxation and my sisters' accomplishments in music and dan- 
cing. . We had a r.ear relation living there, a widow lady, 
niece to Doctor Bentley, who accommodated us with her 
house, and we passed half a year in the society and amuse- 
ments of the place. This lady, Foster by name, and first 
cousin to my mother, was a woman of superior understand- 
ing ; her opinions were pronounced authoritatively and with- 
out respect of person ; they were considered in York as 
little less than oracular. The style of living in this place 
was so new to me and out of character, when contrasted by 
the habits of study and retirement, v/hicli I had been accus- 
tomed to, that it seemed to enfeeble and depress that portion 
of genius, which nature had endowed me with ; I hunted in 
the mornings, danced in the evenings, and devoted but a 
small portion of my time to any tiling that deserved the 
name of study. I had no books of my own, and unfortu- 
nately got engaged with Spenser's Fairy Queen^ in imitation 


of which I began to string nonsensical stanzas to the same 
rhiming kind of measure. Though I trust I should not have 
surrendered myself for any length of time to this jingling 
strain of obsolete versification, yet I am indebted to my mo- 
ther for the seasonable contempt she threw upon my imita- 
tions, felt the force of her ixproof, and laid the Fairy Queen 
upon its shelf. 

The Earl of Galloway, father of the present Lord, was 
then residing at York with his family ; a beautiful copy of 
elegiac verses, the composition of his daughter, Lady Susan, 
was communicated to me, of which the hint seemed to be 
taken from Hamlet's meditations on the skull of Yorick. I 
do not feel myself at liberty to publish the elegant poem of 
that lady, who lived to grace the high station which by her 
birth, virtues and endov/ments she was entitled to, and when 
I now venture to insert my own, I am fully conscious how 
ill it would endure a comparison with that which gave occa- 
sion to it — 

" True ! \\ e must all be chang'd by death, 
" Such is the form the dead must wear, 
" And so, when Beauty yields its breath, 
*' So shall the fairest face appear. 

^' But let thy soul survey the grace, 
" That yet adorns its frail abode, 
" And through the wondrous fabric trace 
*' The hand of an unerring God. 

*' Why does the blood in stated round 

*^ Its vital warmth throughout dispense I 

" Who tun'd the ear to every sound, 

<' And lent the hand its ready sense ? 

" Whence had the eyes that subtle force, 
" That languor, they by turns display ? 
*'^ Who hung the lips with prompt discourse, 
" And tun'd the soft melodious lay ? 

" What but thy Maker's image there 
" In each external part is seen ? 
" But 'tis thy better part to wear 
^^ His image pictur'd best within. 



'' Else what avail'd the mptur'd strain, 

" Did not the mind heraidimpait, 

• " The melting eye would spqak in vahi, 

" Fkiw'd not its language from the heart* 

" The blood with stated pace had crept 

" Along the dull and sluggish veins, 

" The ear insensibly had slept, 

" Though angels sung in choicest strauis. 

" It is that spark of quick'ning fire, 
" To ev'ry child of nature giv'n, 
" That either kindles wild desire, 
'* Or lights us on the road to heav'n. 

^* That spark, if Virtue keeps it bright, 
^' And Genius fans it into flame, 
^' Aspiring mounts, and in its flight, 
'' Soars far above this earthly frame. 

** Strong and expansive in its view, 
^* It tow'rs amid the boundless sky, 
*' Sees planets other orbs pursue, 
*^ Whose systems other suns supply. 

*^ Such Newton was, diffusing far 

*^ Hisjradiant beams ; such Cotes had been ; 

" This a bright comet ; that a star, 

" Which glitter 'd and no more was seen. 

<^ Blush then if thou hast sense of shame, 
" Inglorious, ign'rant, impious slave ! 
" Who think'st this heav'n-created frame 
^' Shallbasely perish in the grave. 

<* False as thou art, dar'st thou suggest 
" That thy Creator is unjust ? 
" Villi thou the truth with him contest, 
" Whose M'isdom form'd thee of the dust? 

" Say, dotard, hath He idly wrought, 
" Or are his works to be belie v'd ? 
" Speak, is the whole creation nought ? 
'•' Mortal, is God or thou deceiv'd ? 


.*^ Thy hardcn'cl spirit, convict at last, 
" Its damning error shall perceive, 
" Speechless shall hear its sentence past, 
" Condemned to tremble and believe. 

'^ But thou in reason's sober light 

" Death clad with terror can'st survey, 

" And from the foul and ghastly sight 

" Derive the pure and moral lay. 

" Go on, sweet Nymph, and when thy Muse 
" Visits the dark and dreary tomb, 
" Bright-rob'd Religion shall diffuse 
" Her radiance, and dispel the gloom. 

" And when the necessary day 

" Shall call thee to thy saving God, 

" Secure thou'it chuse that better way, 

" Which conscience points and Saints have trod. 

" So shall thy soul at length forsake 

" The fairest form e'er soul receiv'd 

" Of those rich blessings to partake, 

" Which eye ne'er saw, nor heart conceiv'd. 

" There, 'midst the full angelic throng, 
" Praise Him, who those rich blessings gave, 
" There shall resume the grateful song, 
" A joyful victor o'er the grave." 

This excurp.ion to York was indeed a relaxation, but not 
altogether of a sort, that either suited my ease, or accorded 
with my taste. Certain it is I had for a time impaired my 
health by too much application and the over-abstemious 
habits I imposed upon myself during my last year at college, 
but tranquillity not dissipation, or what is called amusement, 
was the restorative I most needed. The allurements of 
public assemblies and the society of those, who resort to 
therp, form so great a contrast to the occupations of a stu- 
dent, that instead of being enlivened by the change, I felt a 
lassitude of mind, that put me out of humour with myself, 
and damped that ardent spirit of acvquirement, which in my 
natui'e seemed to have been its ruling passion. 


of any sort are dangerous to youthful minds, and should be 
studiously avoided. The termination of our visit to York, 
and the prospect of returning to college were welcomed 
by me most cordially. I had brought no books v/ith me to 
York, and of course had nothing to call otFmy mind from the 
listless idle style, in which I dangled away my time, amus- 
ing myself only now and then with my pen, because my 
fancy would not be totally unemployed ; sometimes, as I 
have before related, imitating Spenser's style, and at other 
times composing short elegies after the manner of Ham- 
mond ; for this, when I was reprimanded by the same judi- 
cious monitress, who rallied me out of my imitations of the 
stanzas of The Fairy Queen, I promised her I w^ould write 
no more love elegies, and took leave of Hammond with the 
following lines, written almost extempore — < 

'^ V/hen vnse men love they love to folly, 

'' When blockheads love they're melancholy, 

" When coxcombs love, they love for fashion, 

" And quaintly call it the belle passion. 

'* Old batchelors, who wear the willow, 

'' May dream of love and hug the pillow, 

" Whilst love, in poet's fancy rhyming, 

" Sets all the bells of folly chiming. 

^' But j\vomen, charming women, prove 
" The*^ sweet varieties of love, 
^^ They can love all, but none too dearly, 
" Their husbands too, but not sincerely. 

^' They'll love a thing, whose outward shape 
" Makes him twin brother to an ape ; 
" They'll take a miser for his riches, 
, " And wed a beggar without breeches* 

" Marry, as if in love with rum, 

^' A gamester to their sure undoing, 

" A drunkard raving, swearing, stormmgj 

*' For the dear pleasure of reforming. 

" They'll wed a lord, whose breath shall falter 
" Whilst he is crawling from the altar : 


^^ What is there women will not do, 
" When they love man and money too 


These and numerous trifles of the like soil, not worth 
recording, amused my vacant hours at York, but when I 
returned home, I made a very short stay, and hastened 
to.,colle|^e, where I was soon invited to the master's lodg-e 
by Doctor Smith, who was pleased to honour me v/ith his 
approbation of my past exertions, and imparted to me a 
new arrangement, that he and the seniors had determined 
upon for annulling so much of the existing statues as re- 
stricted all Bachelors of Arts, except those t)f the third 
year's standing, from offering themselves candidates for . 
fellowships : when he had signified this to me, he kindiy 
added, that as I should be in the second year of my degree 
at the next election, he recommended it to me by all means 
to present myself for examination, and to take ray chance. 
This was a commrinication so flattering, that I knew not 
how to shape the answer, which he seemed to expect from- 
me ; I clearly saw that his meaning was to bring me into 
the society a year before any one had been elected since the 
statutes were in existence ; I knew that by my election 
there must be an exclusion of some candidate of the year 
a-bovc me, who had only a single chance, whereas I had a 
double one ; in the mean time my circumstances were such 
as did not want the em.oluments of a fellowship, and my age 
such as might well admit of a postponement. These v»^ere 
my reflections at the time, and I felt the force of them, but 
the regulation was gone forth, and there were others of my 
own year, who had announced their resolution of corning for- 
ward as candidates at the time of the election. There was 
no part therefore for me to take but to prepare myself for 
the exammation, and expect the result. To this I looked 
fonvard with much more terror and alarm, than to ail I had 
experienced in the schools and theatre, for I not only stood 
in awe of the master of Trinity, as being tlie deepest mathe- 
matician of his time, but as I hi^d reason to believe he had 
been led to lay open the election in some degree on my ac- 
count, I apprehended he would never suHcr his partiality 
to single me out to the exclusion of any other v»7it])out strict 
scrutiny into my pretensions, and as I had obtained a higk 
honour when I took my degree, I greatly feared he miglit 
expect too niuchj aiid m.eet with disappointment- ^ 


Under these impressions, whilst I was preparing to resume 
my fitudies Avith increased attention, and repair the time not 
proMtably past of late, I received a summons, which open- 
ed to me a new scene of life. I was called for by Lord Ha- 
lifax to assmne the situation of his private confidential se- 
cretary : it was considered by my family and the friends and 
advisers of my family, as an offer, upon which there eould be 
no hesitation. They took the question as it struck them in 
their view of it, they could not look into futurity, neither 
could they take a perfect estimate either of my fitness for the 
situation held out to me, or of the eventual value of the situr 
ation, from wnich I was about to be displaced. What the 
prosecution of my studies mighl have led me to in that line 
of life, to which I had directed my attention, and fixed my 
attachment, is a matter of speculation and conjecture ; what 
I might have avoided is now become matter of experience, 
and I can only say that had certain passages of my past life 
been then stated to me as probabilities to .occur, I would have 
stuck to my college, and endeavoured to have trodden in the 
steps of my ancestors. 

I v/as not fitted for dependence : my nature was re- 
pugnant to it ; I was most unfortunately formed with feel- 
ings, that could ill endure the assumed importance of some, 
or submit to take advantage of the weakuess of others. I 
had ambition enough, and it maybe more than enough ; but 
it was the ambition of working out my own way by the la- 
bours of my mind, and raising to myself a character upon 
a foundation of my own laying. I certainly do not offend 
against truth when I say I had an ardent wish to earn a name 
in literature : I had studied books ; I had not studied men, 
and perha,psl was too much disposed to measure my respect 
for their characters by the standard of their talents. I had 
no acquaintance with the noble Lord, who now invited me 
to share his confidence, and receive my destiny from his 
}\ands. My good father did what was perfectly natural for a 
fither todo in the like circumstances, he availed himself of 
tlie opportunity for placing me under the patronage of one 
of the most figuring and rising men of his time. There 
was something extremely briiiiant and more than commonly 
eiigaging in the person, manners and address of the Eai^l of 
Halifax. He had been educated at Eton, and came with the 
reputation of a good scholar to Trinity College, where he 
estabiished himself in the good opinion of the v»^hoIc society. 


not only by his orderly and regular conduct, but in a very 
distinguished manner by the attention which he paid to his 
studies, and the proofs he gave in his public exercises of 
his classical acquirements. Pie was certainly when compar- 
ed with men of his condition, to be distinguished as a schol- 
ar much above the common mark : he quoted well and co- 
piously from the best authors, chiefly Horace ; he was very 
fond of English poetry, and recited it very emphatically af- 
ter the manner of Quin, who had been his master in that 
art : he' had a partiality for Prior, which he seemed to inher- 
it from the celebrated lord Halifax, and would rehearse long 
passages from his Solomon, and Henry and Emma, with the 
whole of his verses, beginning with Sincere oh tell me — and 
these he would set off with a great display of action, and in a 
style of declamation more than sufficiently theatrical. He was 
married to a virtuous and exemplary lady, who brought him 
a considerable fortune, and from whom he took the name of 
Dunk, and was made a freeman of London to entitle him to 
mary in conformity to the conditions of her father's will. 
His family, when I came to him, consisted of this lady, with 
whom he lived in great domestic harmony, and three daugh- 
ters; there was an elderly clergyman of the name of Crane, 
an inmate also, who had been his tutor, and to whom he was 
most entirely attached. A better guide and a more faithful 
counsellor he could not have, for amongst all the men it has 
been my chance to know,I do not think I have known a calm- 
er, wiser, more right-headed man ; in the ways of the 
world, the politics of the time and the characters of those, 
who were in the public management and responsibility of 
affairs. Doctor Crane was incomparably the best steersman, 
that his pupil could take his course from, and so long as he 
submitted to his temperate guidance he could hardly go 
astray. The opinions of Doctor Crane were upon all points 
decisive, because in the first place they were always withheld 
till extorted from him by appeal, and secondly, because they 
never failed to carry home conviction of the prudence and 
sound judgment tliey were founded upon. 

This was the state of the family to which I was now intro- 
duced. In the lord of the house I contemplated a man re- 
gular in his duties, temperate in his habits, and a strict ob- 
server of decorum : in the lady a woman, in whom no fault 
or even foible could be discovered, miid, prudent, unpretend- 
ing ; in a tutor a character not easy to deveiope? or rightly and 


correctly to appreciate, for whilst his qualities commanded 
respect, the dryness of his external repulsed familiarity ; in 
short I sat him down as a man of a clear head and a cold heart: 
the daughters were children of the nursery. 

I went to town attended by a steady intelligent servant of 
my father's ; this person, Anthony Fletcher by name, who 
then wore a livery, has since, by a series of good conduct and 
good fortune, established himself in an aliduent and creditable 
situation at Bath, where he still lives in a very advanced age 
in the Crescent, well known and universally respected. Lord 
Halifax's house tvas in Grosvenor-Square, but I found lodg- 
ings taken for me by his order in Downing-street, for the 
purpose, as I understood, of my being near Mr. John Pow- 
nall, then acting secretary to the Board of Trade, at which it 
was Lord Halifax's office to preside. This gentleman was 
to give me the necessary instructions for my obtaining some 
insight into the nature of the business, likely to devolve upon 
me. My location was certainly very well pitched for those 
communications, for Mr. Po^vnall lodged and boarded at a 
house in the same street, and with him I was to mess when 
not invited out. 

The morning after my arrival I waited on this gentleman 
at his office in Whitehall, and was received by him with all 
possible politeness, but in a style of such ceremony and form 
as I was little used to, and not much delighted with. How 
many young men at my time of life would have embraced 
this situation with rapture I The whole town indeed was be- 
fore me, but it had not for me either friend or relation, to 
v.hom I could resort for comfoit or for counsel. With a 
head filled ^vith Greek and Latin, and a heart left behind me 
in my college, I was completely out of my element. I saw 
myself unlike the people about me, and Avas embarrassed in 
circles, which according to the manners of those days were 
not to be approached without a set of ceremonies and man- 
ceuvres, not very pleasant to perform, not very edifying ta 
behold. In these graces Lord Plalifax was a model ; his 
address was noble and impressive ; he could never be mis- 
taken for less than he was, whilst his official secretary Pow- 
nall, v/ho egregiously over-acted his imitations of him, could 
as little be mistaken for more than he was. In the world, 
which I now belonged to, I heard very little, except now and 
then a quotation from Lord Halifax, that in any degree in- 
terested me ; there were talkers, however, who would take 


possession of a subject as a highwayman does of a piirae, 
without knowing what it contained, or caring whom it be- 
longed to : many of these gentlemen had doubtless found 
that ignorance had been no obstacle to their advancement, 
and now they seemed resolved it should be no bar to their 
assurance. I found there was a polite as well as a political 
glossary, which involved mysteries little less obscure than 
those, which are couched under the hierogliphics of Egypt, 
and I perceived that whosoever had the ready use and apt 
application of those pass-words, was by right looked up to as 
the best bred and best inform.ed man in the company : v/hen 
a single word can comprise the matter of a whole volume, 
those worthy gentlemen have a sufficient plea for not wasting 
their time upon reading. I have lived long enough to wit- 
ness such amazing feats performed by impudence, that I 
much wonder why modest men will allow themselves to be 
found in societies, where they are condemned to be annoyed 
by talkers, who turn all things upside dov/n, whilst they are 
not permitted to utter that which would set them right. 

When it was my chance to dine at our boarding-house 
table with the aforementioned sub-secretary, I contemplated 
with surprise the importance of his air, and the dignity that 
seemed attached to his official situation. The good woman 
of the house, who was at once our provider and our presi- 
dent, regularly addressed him by the name of statesman, 
and in her distribution of the joint shewed somethmg more 
than an impartial attention to his plate. If he knew any 
• state-secrets, I will do him the justice to say that he never 
disclosed them ; and if he talked with ministers and great 
nobles as he talked of them, I will venture to say he was ex- 
tremely familiar with them ; and I cannot doubt but that this 
was the case ; for if he was thus high with his equals, it 
surely behoved him to be much higher with those who but 
for such self-swelling altitudes might stand a chance to pass 
for his superiors. He had a brother in the guards, a very 
amiable man, and with him I formed a friendship. Having 
been told to inform myself about the colonies, and shevm 
some folio books of formidable contents, I began more meo 
with the discoveries of America, and proceeded to travel 
tlirough a mass of voyages, which furnished here and there 
some plots for tragedies, dumb shows and dances, as they 
have since done, but in point of information applicable to the 
then-existing state of the coloniesj were most discouragingly 


meagre, and most oppressively tedious in cowimunicating 
nothing. I got a summary but sufficient insight into the 
constitutions of the respective provinces, for what was wortli 
knowing was soon learnt, and when I found that my whole 
employment in Grosvenor-Square consisted in copying a 
few private letters to governors and civil officers abroad, I 
applied my thoughts to other objects, and particularly to the 
approaching election at my college ; still London lodgings 
and London hours were not quite so well adapted to study 
as I could have wished, though I changed my situation for 
the better when I removed to an apartment, which was ta- 
ken for me in Mount- Street, within a very short walk of 
Lord Halifax's house, where I attended for his commands 
every morning, and dined twice or thrice in the week. 
One day he took me with him to Newcastle House, in Lin- 
coln's Inn Fields, for the purpose of presenting me to the 
Duke, then prime minister : his lordship was admitted 
without delay ; I waited two hours for my audience, and 
was then dismissed in two minutes, whilst his grace, stript 
to his shirt, with his sleeves rolled up to his elbows, was 
washing his hands. 

The recess took place at the usual time, when Lord Hali- 
fax left towTi and went to Horton in Northamptonshire ; I 
accompanied him thither, and from thence went to Cam- 
bridge ; he seemed interested in my undertaking, and offer- 
ed me letters of recommendation, which with due acknow- 
ledgments I declined. On my arrival I found Doctor Ri- 
chard Bentley had come from his living of Nailstone in Lei- 
cestershire, purposely to support my cause ; the vice-mas- 
ter also welcomed me with his accustomed cordiality, and I 
found the candidates of both years had turned out strong for 
the contest. There were six vacancies, and six candidates 
of the year above me ; of these Spencer Madan, now Bishop 
ot Petersborough, was as senior Westminster secure of his 
election, and such was his merit, independent of any other 
claim, that it would have been impossible to pass him over. 
He was a young man of elegant accomplishments, and with 
the recommendation of a very interesting person and ad- 
dress, had derived from the Cowpers, of which family his 
mother was, no small proportion of hereditary taste and tal- 
ent ; he was a good classical scholar, composed excellent 
declamations in the Ciceronian style, which he set oif with 
ail the grace of recitation and voice, that cau well be con- 


ceived : he had a great passion for music, sung well, and 
read in chapel to the admiration of every one. I have pass- 
ed many happy hours with him in the morning of our lives, 
and I hope he will enjoy the evening of his days in comfort 
and tranquillity, having chosen that better lot, which has 
brought him into harbour, whilst I, who lost it, am left out 
at sea. 

The senior Westminster «f my year, and joint candidate 
with me at this time, was John Higgs, now Rector of Gran- 
disburgh in Suffolk, and a senior fellow of Trinity College ; 
a man, who, when I last visited him, enjoyed all the vigour 
of mind and body in a green old age, the result of good hu- 
mour, and the reward of temperance. We have spun out 
mutually a long measure of uninterrupted friendship, he in 
peace throughout, and I at times in perplexity ; and if I sur- 
vive to complete these memoirs, and he to read this page, I 
desire he will receive it as a testimony of my, unaltered re- 
gard for him through life, and the bequest of my last good 
wishes at the close of it. 

It would hardly be excusable in me to detail a process, 
that takes place every year, but that in this instance the no- 
velty of our case made it matter of very general attention. 
When the day of examination came, we went our rounds to 
the electing seniors ; in some instances by one at a time, in 
others by parties of three or four ; it was no trifling scrutiny 
we had to undergo, and here and there pretty severely ex- 
acted, particularly, as I well remember, by Doctor Charles 
Mason, a man of curious knowledge in the philosophy of 
mechanics and a deep mathematician ; he was a true modern 
Diogenes, in manners and apparel, coarse and slovenly to 
excess in both ; the witty made a butt of him, but the scien- 
tific caressed him ; he could ornament a subject at the same 
time that he disgusted and disgraced society. I remember 
when he came one day to dinner in the college hall, dirty as 
a blacksmith from his forge, upon his being questioned on 
his appearance, replied — that he had been turning — ^then I 
wish, said the other, when you was about it, friend Charles, 
you had turned your shirt. This philosopher, as I was 
prepared to believe, decidedly opposed my election. He 
gave us a good dose of dry mathematics, and then put an 
Aristophanes before us, which he opened at a venture, and 
i bade us give the sense of it. A very worthy candidate of 
1 'T^y yeai'declmed ht\,\'ing anything to do with it, yet Mason 


gave his vote for that gentleman, and agamst me who took 
his leavings. Doctor Samuel Hooper gave us a liberal and 
well chosen examination in the more familiar classics ; that 
indeed was a man, in whom nothing could be found but 
what was gentle and engaging, whom suavity of temper 
and the charms of manners made dear to all that knew him ; 
he died and was buried in the chapel of his college, where a 
marble tablet, erected to his memory, cannot fail to awa- 
ken the sensibility of all, who like me, were acquainted 
with his virtues. 

The last, whom in order of our visits we resorted to, was 
the master ; he called us to him one by one according to our 
standings, and of course it fell to me as junior candidate to 
wait till each had been examined in his turn. When in obe- 
dience to his summons I attended upon him, he was sitting, 
not in the room where my grandfather had his library, but 
in a chamber up stairs, encompassed with large folding 
screens, and over a great fire, though the weather was 
then uncommonly warm : he began by requiring of me an 
account of the whole course and progress of my studies in 
the several branches of philosophy, so called in the general, 
and as I proceeded in my detail of what I had read, he sifted 
me with questions of such a sort as convinced me he was 
determined to take nothing upon trust ; when he had held 
me a considerable time under this examination, I expected 
he would have dismissed me, but on the contrary he pro- 
ceeded in the like general terms to demand of me an account 
of what I had been reading before I had applied myself to 
-academical studies, and when I had acquitted myself of this 
question as briefly as I could, and I hope as modestly as be- 
came me in presence of a man so learned, he bade me give 
a summary account of the several great empires of the an- 
cient world, the periods w^hen they flourished, their extent 
when at the summit of their power, the causes of their de- 
clention and dates of their extinction. When summoned to 
give answer to so wide a question, I can only say it v/as well 
for me I had worked so hard upon my scheme of General 
History, which I have before made mention of, and which, 
though not complete in all the points of his inquiry, sup- 
plied me with nnaterials for such a detail, as seemed to give 
him more than tolerable satisfaction. This process being 
over, he gave me a sheet of paper written through in Greek 
in liis own hand, w^hich lie ordei'ed me to turn tether into 



Latiii or English, and I was shewn into a room, contanun^ 

nothmg but a table furnished with materials for writing, and 
one chair, and I was required to use dispatch. The passage 
was maliciously enough selected in pohit of construction, and 
also of character, for he had scrawled it out in a puzzling 
kind of hand with abbreviations of his own devising ; it re- 
lated to the arrangement of an army for battle, and I believe 
might be taken from Polybius, an author I had never read. 
When I had given in my translation in Latin, I was remand- 
ed to the empty chamber Avith a subject for Latin prose and 
another for Latin verse, and again required to dispatch them 
in the manner of an impromptu. The chamber, into which 
I was shut for the performance of these hasty productions, 
was the very room, dismantled of the bed, in which I was 
born. The train of ideas it revived hi my mind were not 
inappositely v/ovcn into the verses I gave in, and with this 
task my examination concluded. 

JDoctor Smith, who so worthily succeeded to the master- 
ship of Trinity on my grandfather's decease, was unquestion- 
ably one of the iPxOst learned men of his time, as his werks, 
especially his System of Optics, effectually demonstrate. 
He led the life of a student, abstemious and recluse, his fam- 
ily consisting of a sister, advanced in years and ufimarried 
like himself, together with a niece, v/ho in the course of 
her residence there was married to a fellow of the college. 
He was a man, of whom it might be said— Philosophy /lad 
marked him for her own ; of a thin spare habit, a nose prom- 
inently aquiline, and an eye penetrating as that of the bird, 
the semblance of whose beak marked the character of his 
face : the tone of his voice was shrill and nasal, and lus man- 
ner of speaking such as denoted forethought and deliberation. 
How deep a theorist he was in harmony his treatise will 
evince; of mere melody he was indignantly neglectful, and 
could not reconcile his ear to the harpsichord, till by a con-> 
struction of his own he had divided the half tones into their 
proper fiats and sharps. Those who figured to themselves 
a Diogenes in Mason, might have fancied they beheld an. 
Aristotle in Smith, who, had he lived in the age and fallen 
within the eye of the great designer of the School of Athens, 
might have left his image there without discrediting the 

The next day the election was announced, and I was cho- 
sen, together with Mr. John Orde, now one of the maJ^ter.s 



in Chancery, who was of the same year with myself, and 
next to me upon the list of Wranglers, This gentleman 
had also gained the prize adjudged to him for his Latin de- 
clamation ; for his private w^orthiness he was universally 
esteemed, and for his public merits deservedly rewarded. 
Fy our election two candidates of the year above us forever 
lost their chance ; the one of these a Mr. Briggs, the other 
Mr. Penneck, a name well known, and a character much 
esteemed : he filled a situation in the British Museum with 
great recpectability, was a very amiable worthy man, high- 
ly valued by his friends w^hen living, and much lamented 
after death. His disappointment on this occasion was very 
generally regretted, and I think I can answer for the feelings 
of Mr. Orde as confidently as for my own. 

When I waited upon the electing seniors to return my 
thanks, of course I did not omit to pay my compliments to 
Doctor Mason.-—" You owe me no compliment, he replied, 
" for I tell you plainly I opposed your election, not because 
" I have any personal objection to you, but because I am no 
" friend to innovations, and think it hard upon the excluded 
<' candidates to be subjected on a sudden to a regulation, 
'' which according to my calculation gives you t^\ o chances 
" to their one, and takes away as it has proved, even that 
*^ one. But you are in ; so there's an end of it, and I give 
" you joy." 

Having staid as long in college as in gratitude and propri- 
ety I conceived it right to stay, I went home to Stanwdck, 
and from thence paid my duty in a short visit to Lord Halifax. 
This was certainly a mom.ent, of which I could have avail- 
ed my self for returning into the line of life, which I had stept 
out of, and as neither now, nor in any day of my long atten- 
dance upon Lord Halifax, there ever was an hour, when my 
father would not have lent a ready ear to my appeal, the rea- 
sons, that prevailed with me for persisting, were not dicta- 
ted by him. In the m.ean time the life I led in town during 
the first years of my attendance was almost as much seques- 
tered from the world, as if I had been resident in college : 
in my lodging in Mount-street I had stocked myself with my 
o^YYi books, some of my father's, and those which Doctor 
Richard Bentley had bestowed upon me ; I sought no com- 
pany, nor pushed for any nev/ connexions amongst those, 
whom I occasionally met in Grosvenor-Square : one or two 
of my fellow collegiates now and then looked in upon me. 


and about this time I made my first small oiTeiing to the 
press, following the steps of Gray with another church-yard 
elegy, written on Saint Mark's eve, when, according to ru- 
ral tradition the ghosts of those, who are to die witiiin the 
year ensuing, are seen to walk at midnight across the cluirch- 
yard. I believe the public were very little interested by my 
plaintive ditty, and Mr. Dodsley, who was publisher, as little 
profited. I had written it at Stanwick m one of my college 
vacations, some time before I belonged to Lord Halifax, 
and had affixed to my title page the following motto with 
v/hich I sent it into the world — 

" — — Akoi; dl TO* ccy'yiXo(; E^/^tf, 

« I AXXci: TV a-r.cnv Ep^s (fipsVi, /-cvids ctb A'/i^vi 

" Alpihoj eLV av CTE /xsXiGpO'y y^voj avri>i. 

I had made my stay at Horton as short as I could with pro- 
priety, being impatient to avail myself of every day that I 
could pass in the society of my family. With them I was 
happy ; in their company I enjoyed those tranquil and deli- 
cious hours, which were endeared to me still mxore by the 
contrast of what I suffered when in absence from them. 

With all these sensations within me, these filial feelings 
and family attachment, I hardly need confess, that, hov/ever 
time and experience mayjiave changed my taste or capacity 
for public life, certain it is that I was not then fitted for it, 
rior had any of those worldly qualities and accommodations 
in my nature, which are sure to push their possessors into 
notice, and form what may be called the very nidus of good 
fortune. A man, who is gifted with these lucky talents, is 
armed with hands, as a ship with grappling irons, ready to 
catch hold of, and make himself fast to every thing he comes 
in contact with ; and such a man, with all these properties 
of adhesion, has also the property, like the polypus, of a 
most miraculous and convenient indivisibility ; cut off his 
hold, nay, cut him how you will, he is still a polypus, whole 
and entire. Men of this sort shall work their way out of their 
obscvirity like cockroaches out of the hold of a ship, and crawl 
into notice, nay, even into king's palaces, as the frogs did 
into Pharaoh's : the happy faculty of noting times and sea- 
sons, and a lucky promptitude to avail themselves of mo- 
ments with address and boldness, are alone such all-suffi- 
cient requisites, such marketable stores of worldly know- 
ledge, that although the minds of those, who own them, 


shall be, as to all the liberal sciences, a rasa tabula^ yet 
knowing these things needful to be known, let their difficul- 
iTcs and distresses be what they may, though the storm of 
adversity threatens to overwhelm them, they are in a life- 
boat, buoyed up by corks, and cannot sink. These are the 
scray children, turned loose upon the world, whom fortune 
in her charity takes charge of, and for wdiose guidance in 
the bye -ways and cross-roads of their pilgrimage she sets up 
iiiiry fmger-posts, discoverable by them whose eyes are 
near the ground, but unperceived by such, whose looks are 
raised above it. 

In a nation, like this, where all ranks and degrees are laid 
open to enterprize, merit or good fortune, it is fit, right and 
natural that sudden elevations should occur and be encourag- 
ed. It is a spur to industry, and incites to emulation and 
laudable ambition. Whilst it leads to these good conse- 
quences, it must also tend to others of a different sort. In 
all communities so constituted there will be a secret market 
for cunning, as well as a fair emporium for honesty, and a 
vast body of men, who can't support themselves without la- 
bour of some sort, and won't live by the labour of their hands, 

must contrive to live by their wits 

Honest men 
Are the soft easij cushions^ on 'iVhich knaves 
Repose and fatten—^ 
But there are more than these — Vain men will have their 
flatterers, rich men their followers, and powerful men their 
dependants. A great man in office is like a great whale in 
Xh^ ocean; there will be a sword-fish and a thresher, a Junius 
and a John Wilkes, ever in his wake and arming to attack 
him :* Those are the vext spirits of the deep, who trouble 
i'v^Q^ waters, turning them up from the very bottom, that they 
may emerge from their mud, and float upon the surface of 
the billows in foam of their making. 

The abstract history of some of these gentry is curious-— 
w^hen they have made a wa^eck of their own reputation, they 
assault and tear in pieces tlie reputations of others ; they de- 
fame man and blaspheme Gsd ; they are punished for their 
enormities; this makes them martyrs ; martyrdom i«akes 
them popular, they are crov»^ned with praises, honours and 
emoluments, and they leave the world in admiration of their 
talents, before they have tasted the contempt which they 


But whilst these men may be said to fight their way into 
consequence, and so long as they can but live in notice are 
content to live in trouble, there is a vast majority of easy, 
unambitious, courteous humble servants, whose unoffending 
vanity aspires no higher than like Samson's bees to make 
honey in the bowels of a lion, and fatten on the offal of a rich 
man's superfluities. They ask no more of fortune than to 
float, like the horse dung with the apples, and enjoy the 
credit of good company as they travel down the smooth and 
easy stream of life. For these there is a vast demand, and 
their talents are as various as the uses they are put to. 
Every great, rich and consequential man, who has not the 
wisdom to hold his tongue, must enjoy his privilege of talk* 
ing, and there must be dull fellows to listen to him ; again, 
if, by talking about what he does not understand, he gets in- 
to embarrassments, there must be clever fellows to help him 
out of them ; when he would be merry, there must be 
witty rogues to make him laugh ; when he would be sor- 
rowful, there must be sad rogues to sigh and groan and 
make long faces : as a great man must be never in the wrong, 
there must be hardy rascals, who will swear he is always in 
the right ; as he must never show fear, of course he must 
never see danger ; and as his courage must at no time sink, 
there must be fi'iends at all times ready to prevent its being 

A great man is entitled to his relaxations ; he, who labours 
for the public, must recreate his spirit with his private 
friends : then it is that the happy m.oments, the mollia tern- 
flora are to be found, which the adfept in the art of rising 
knows so well how to make his use of. Of opportunities 
like these I have had my share ; I never turned them to my 
own advantage ; if at any time I undertook a small solicita- 
tion, or obtruded a request it was for some humble client, 
who told a melancholy tale, and could advance no nearer to 
the principal than by making suit to me ; in the mean time 
I saw many a favour wrested by importunity out of that 
course, which I had reason to expect they would have 
taken : I never remonstrated and a very slight apology suf- 
ficed for me. These negative merits I may fairly claim 
without offence against the modesty of truth ; I was assidu- 
ous in discharging all the duties of my small employ, and 
faithfully attached to my employer : if he had no call upon 
me for more or greater services than any man of the com- 

G 2 


Hionest capacity could have performed, it was because 6c- 
-casions did not occur ; I had not the fault of neglecting what 
I had to do, nor tlie presumption of dictating in any single in- 
stance what should be done. 

Lord Halifax wrote all his ovm dispatches, and with rea- 
son, for he wrote well ; but I am tempted to record one op- 
portunity, that v/as thrown in my way by the candoui^of Mr. 
Charles Townshend, wliilst he was passing a few days at 
Horton ; amongst a variety of subjects, wliich his active im- 
agination was for ever starting, something had recurred to 
his recollection of an enigmatical sort, that he wished to 
have the solution of, and could not strike upon it ; it was 
only to be done ])y a geometrical process, which 1 was for- 
tunate enough to hit upon ; I worked it as a problem and 
gave him my solution in writing ; I believe it pleased him, 
but T ara very sure that his good nature v/as glad of the op- 
portunity to say flattering things to a diffident young man, 
who said very little for himself, and further to do me grace 
he was pleased to put into my hands a very long and elabo- 
rate report of his own drawing up, for he was then one of 
the Lords of Trade, and this he condescended to desire I 
v/ould carefully revise and give him my remarks without 
reserve. Howldghly I was gratified by this condescension 
in a man of iiis extraordinary and superior genius, I need not 
say, nor how well, or how ill, I executed my commission ; 
I did it to the best of my abilities ; there was much to ad- 
mire, and something here and there in his paper to warrant 
a remark : if Ids compliments were sincere, I succeeded, 
and shortly after I had proofs, that put his kind opinion of 
me out of doubt. 

One morning in conversation tete-a-tete, he said he re- 
collected a quotation he had chanced upon in an anonymous 
author, v/ho maintained opinions of a very impious sort.— «- 
The passage he repeated is as follows — 

Post mortem nihil est^ ijisaq ; mors nihil-^ 
And he asked me if I knew where those words were to be 
found : I recollected them to be in one of the tragedies of 
Seneca, I believed it was that of the Troades, which I had 
lately chanced upon amongst my greiudfather's books : as 
soon as I had access to these, I turned to the passage, and 
according to his desire copied and enclosed it to him. 'Tis 
ibund in the second act of the Troades, and as it is a curious 
extract, and short withal, I have inserted it. together with 


the stanzas written at the time and transmitted with it, 
which, though not very closely translated, I have transcribe 
cd vert^atim as I find them. 

Verum est, an timidos fabula decipit 
Umbras cordoribus vivere conditis ? 
Cum conjux oculis imposuit manum-, 
Supremusq ; dies solibus obstitit, 
Et tristcs cineres urna coercuit, 
Non prodest animam tradere funeri, 
Sed restat miseris vivere lon^ns. 
An toti morimur, nullaq ; pars manet 
Nostri, cum profugo spiritus halitu 
Immistus nebulis cessit in aera, 
Et nudum tetigit subdita fax latus — ? 

Quidquid sol oriens, quidquid et occidens 
Novit, cseruleisoceanusfretis 
Quidquid vel veniens vel fugiens lavat, 
^tas pegaseo corripiet gradu. 
Quo bissena volant sidera turbine, 
Quo cursu properat secula volvere 
Astrorum dominus, quo properat mode 
Obliquis liecate curere flexubus. 
Hoc omnes petimus fata ; nee amplius 
Juratos Superis qui tetigit lacus 
Usquam est: ut calidis fumus ab ignibus 
Vanescit, spatium per breve sordidus, 
Ut nubes gravidas, quas modo vidimus, 
Arctoi Boreie disjicit impetus. 
Sic hie, guo regimur, spiritus effluet. 
Post monem nihil est, ipsaq ; mors nihil ; 
Velocis spatii meta novissima. 
Spem ponant avidi, solliciti metum ! 
Qua^ris quo jaceas post obitum loco— - ? 
Quo non nata jacent. 
Tempus nos avidum devorat, et chaos : 
Mors indi vidua est ; noxia corpori, 
Neoparcensanimx. Tsenara, et aspero 
Regnum sub domino, limen et obsidens 
Custos non facili Cerberus ostio, 
Rumores vacui, verbasq ; inania, 
Et par sollicito fabula somnio. 


Chorus of Trojan Women. 

** Is it a truth, or fiction all, 
" Which only cowards trust, 

" Shall the soul live beyond the grave, 
"Or mingle with our dust ? 

'* When the last gleam of parting day 
" Our struggling sight hath blest, 

" And in the pale array of death 
" Our clay -cold limbs are drest, 

" Did the kind friend who clos'd our eyes, 
" Speak peace to us in vain ? 

" Is there no peace, and have we died 
" To live and weep again ? 

" Or sigh'd we then our souls away, 
" And was that sigh our last, 

" Or e'er upon the flaming pile 
" Our bare remains were cast ? 

" All the svm sees, the ocean laves, 
" Kingdoms and kings shall fall, 

" Nature and nature's works shall cease, 
" And time be lord of all. 

*' Swift as the monarch of the skies 

" Impels the rolling year, 
" Swift as the gliding orb of night 

*' Pursues her prone career, 

" So swift so sure we all descend 
" DoAvn life's continual tide, 

" 'Tifl in the void of fate profound 
" We smk with worlds beside. 

" As in the flame's resistless glare 
" Th' envelop'd smoke is lost, 

" Or as before the driving North 
" The scatter'd clouds are tost, 

" So this proud vapour shall expire, 
" This all-directing soul, 


" Nothing is after death ; you've run 
" Your race and reach'd the goal. 

^ Dare not to wish, nor dread to meet 

" A life beyond the grave ; 
" You'll meet no other life than now 

" The unborn ages have. 

" Time whelms us in the vast Inane, 

" A gulph without a shore ; 
*' Death gives th^ exterminating blow, 

" We fall to rise no more. 

^' Hell, and its triple -headed guard, 

" And Lethe's fabled stream, 
" Are tales that lying gossips tell, 

*' And moon-struck Sybils dream. '^ 

It was the good old custom of the Earl of Halifax to pass 
the Christmas at his family seat of Horton in grea.t hospita- 
lity, and upon these occasions he never failed to be accom- 
panied by parties of his friends and intimates from town , the 
chief of these were the Lords Dupplin and Barrington, Mr. 
Charles Townshend, Mr. Francis Fane, Mr. James Oswald, 
Mr. Hans Stanley, Mr. Narbonne Berkeley, Lord Hillsbo- 
rough, Mr. Dodington, Colonel James Johnstone, the hus- 
band of his sister Lady Charlotte, and Mr. Ambrose Isted of 
Hecton, near Northampton, his neighbour and constant visi- 
tor at those seasons: these, with the addition of Doctor Crane 
and the Reverend Mr. Spencer, an elderly clergyman, long 
attached to the family, formed a society highly respectable. 
'I ever entertained a perfect and sincere regard for Lady Ha- 
4ifax ; her mild complacent character was to me far more 
engaging than the livelier spirits and more figuri j talents 
of many, who engrossed that attention, which she did not 
aspire to : she was uniform in her kindness to me, and whilst 
she lived, I flatter myself I had a friend, who esteemed and 
understood me : when she died I had more reason to regret 
her loss than for myself alone. 

• My father was still fixed in his residence at Stanwick, and 
there I ever found unvaried felicity, unabated affection. He 
had some excellent friends and many pleasant neighbours, 
with whom he lived upon the lao^t ao;reeable terms, for 


in his house every body seemed to be happy ; his table was 
admirably managed by my mother, his cellars, servants, 
equipage in the best order, and without parade unbecoming 
of his profession, or unsuitable to his fortune, no family could 
be better conducted ; and here I must indulge myself in di- 
lating on the character of one of his best friends, and best of 
men, Ambrose Isted, Esq. of Ecton aforementioned. Thro' 
every scene of my life, from my childhood to the lamented 
event of his death, which happened whilst I was in Spam, 
he was invariably kind, indulgent and affectionate to me. I 
conceive there is not upon record one,who more perfectly ful- 
filled the true character of a country gentlemen in all its most 
respectable duties and departments than did this exemplary 
person ; nor will his name be forgotten in Northampton- 
shire so long as the memory or tradition of good deeds shall 
circulate, or gratitude be considered as a tribute due to the 
benevolent. He was the pattern and very model of hospita- 
lity most worthy to be copied ; for his family and aff*airs were 
administered and conducted with such measured libera- 
rality, such correct and wise oeconomy, that the friend^ who 
found nothing wanting, which could constitute his cort^for* 
found nothing wastefuUy superfluous to occasion his regret. 
Though Mr. I sted's estate was not large, yet by the process 
of enclosure, and above all bv his prudent and well-ordered 
management, it was augmented without extortion, and left 
in excellent condition to his son and heir. The benefits he 
conferred upon his poorer neighbours were of a nature far 
superior to the common acts of alms giving (though these 
were not omitted) for in all their difficulties and embarrass- 
ments, he was their counsellor and adviser, not merely in 
his capacity of acting justice of the peace, but also from his 
legal knowledge and experience, which were very consider- 
able, and fully competent to all their uses ; by which num- 
bers, who might else have fallen under the talons of country 
attornies, were saved from pillage and beggary. With this 
gentleman my father acted as justice, and was united in 
friendship and in party, and to him he resorted upon all oc- 
casions, where the opinion and advice of a judicious friend 
were wanted. Our families corresponded in the ut- 
most harmony, and our interchange of visits was fre- 
quent and delightful. The house of Ecton was to me 
a second home, and the hospitable master of it a second 
father i his gaiety of he^rt, his suavity of temper, the 


interest he took in giving pleasure to his guests, and the 
fund of information he possessed in the stores of a well-fur- 
nished memory and a lively animated genius, are ever fresh 
in my recollection, and I look back upon the days I have pas- ,.^. 
sed with him as some of the happiest in my life. For manjt^^ 
years before his death, I saw this excellent man by intervals*" 
excruciated with a tormenting and incurable disease, which 
laid too deep and undiscoverable in his vitals to admit of any 
other relief than laudanum in large doses could at times ad- 
minister : nothing but a soul serene and piously resigned as 
his was, could have borne itself up against a visitation at once 
so agonizhig and so hopeless ; a spirit however fortified by 
faith, and a conscience clear of reproach can effect great 
things, and my heroic friend through all his trials smiled in 
the midst of sufferings, and submitted unrepining to his fate. 
One of the last letters he lived to write I received in Spain : 
I saw it was the effort of an exhausted frame, a generous 
zeal to send one parting testimony of his aff*ection to me, 
and being at that time myself extremely ill, I was hardly in 
a capacity to dictate a reply. 

I was also at this time in habits of the most intimate friend- 
ship with two young men of my own age, sons of a worthy 
clergyman in our neighbourhood, the Reverend Mr. Ekins. 
Jeffery the elder, now deceased, was Dean of Carlisle, and 
Rector of Morpeth ; John the youn^^er is yet living and 
Dean of Salisbury. Few men have been more fortunate in 
life-than these brothers, fewer still have probably so well 
deserved their good success. With the elder of these my 
I intimacy was the greatest ; the sam.e passion for poetry 
\ possessed us both, the same attachment to the drama ; our 
' respective families indulged us in our propensities, and were 
i mutually amused with our domestic exhibitions. My friend 
\ Jeifery was in my family as I was in his, an inmate ever 
welcome ; his genius was quick and brilliant, his temper 
sweet, and his nature mild and gentle in the extreme : I 
loved him as a brother ; we never had the slightest jar, nor 
can I recollect the moment in our lives, that ever gave occa- 
sion of offence to either. Our destinations separated us in 
the more advanced period of our time ; his duties drew 
him to a distance from the scenes I was engaged in : his lot 
was prosperous and placid, and well for him it was, for he 
was not made to combat with the storms of life. In early 
youth, long before he took orders, he composed a drama o^ 


an allegorical cast, which he entitled Flono^ or The Puvfiuit 
of Haptiiness. There was a great deal of fancy in it, and I 
wrote a comment upon it almost as long as the drama itself, 
which I sent to him as a mark of my admiration of his genius, 
and my affection for his- person. He also wrote a poem 
upon Dreams^ which had great merit, but as I wished my 
friend to employ his talents upon subjects of a more eleva- 
ted nature, I addressed some lines to him in the style of re- 
monstrance, of which I shall transcribe no more than the con- 
cluding stanza—^ 

" But thou, whose powers can wield a weightier them% 

" Why waste one thought upon an empty dream ? 
" Why all this genius, all this art display'd 
'" To paint a vf.pour and arrest a shade ! 
'" Can fear-drawn shapes and visions of the night 
" Assail thy fancy, or deceive thy sight ? 
" Wilt thou to air built palaces resort, 
" Where the sylphs flutter and the fairies sport. 
" No, let them sooth the love -enfeebled brain, 
" Thy muse shall seize her harp and strike a loftier strain.*^ 
During the time I lived in this pleasing intercourse with 
the family of these worthy brothers, there was an ingenious 
friend and school-fellow of theirs pretty constantly resident 
with them, of the name of Arden, a young man very much 
to be loved for the amenity of his temper and the vivacity of 
his parts. He was the life and soul of our dramatic amuse- 
ments, and had an energy of character, as well as a fimd of 
humour, that enabled him to give its true force and expres- 
sion to every part he assumed in our private exhibitions. 
And here let me not omit to mention a near relation, and 
once my most dear friend, Richard, son of the Reverend 
Doctor George Reynolds, and grandson of Bishop Reynolds, 
who married the daughter of Bishop Cumberland. This 
mild and amiable young man had in early life so far attach- 
ed himself to the Earl of Sandwich, as to accompany him to 
the Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle, but being perfectly indc- 
pent in his fortune, and of an unambitious placid nature, he 
declined pursuing any further the unquiet track of public 
life, and sat down with his family at their house of Paxton 
in Huntingdonshire, to the possession of which he succeed- 
ed, and where he still resides. I am here speaking of the 
days of my intimacy with this gentleman, and I look back 
to thein with none but grateful recollections : in the course 


ef tliesc memoirs I shall have to speak of other days, that 
will recall sensations of another sort. 

If ever this once valued friend shall be my reader, let me 
appeal to his candour for a fair interpretation of my feel- 
ings, when I cannot pass this period over without recalling 
to his memory and my own the name of his departed sister, 
who merited and possessed my best affections hi their purest 
sense. The hospitable welcome I always received from the 
parents of this amiable lady? and their encouraging polite- 
ness to me, might have tempted one less respectful of her 
comforts, and less sensible of her superior pretensions, to 
have presumed upon their favour and made tender of his 
addresses ; but my precarious dependency and unsettled 
state of life, forbade such hopes, and I was silent. I now 
return to my narrative, in which I am prepared to speak, 
both of others and myself no more than I know, or verily 
believe, to be true. 

It was about this time I employed myself in collecting 
materials from the History of India for the plan of a poem in 
heroic verse, many fragments of which I find amongst my 
old papers, which prove I had bestowed considerable labour 
on the work, and made some progress. Whether I found 
the plan could not be made to accord to my idea of the epic, 
or whether any other project called me ofi* I cannot now 
recollect ; but at that time I had not attempted any thing 
professedly for the stage. I maist, however, lament that it 
has lain by unlooked at for so great a length of time, as 
there have been intermediate periods of leisure when it 
would have been well worth my pains to have taken it up. 
It is now too late, and the only use I can apply it to is hum- 
bly to lay before the public a specimen, faithfully transcribed 
from that part of the poem, where the discoveries of the 
Portuguese are introduced. I might perhaps have selected 
passages less faulty, but I give it correctly as I find it, trust- 
ing that the candid reader will make allowances for tiiat too 
florid style, which juvenile versifiers are so apt to indulge 
themselves in, whilst the fancy is too prurient and the judg- 
ment not mature. 

* * * * 

*• Long time had Afric's interposing mound, 

" Stretching athwart the navigator's jvay, 
'* Fenc'dthe rich East, and sen; th' udventrous bark 


" Despairing home, or whelm'd her in the waves. 
" Gama the first on bold discovery bent, 
" With prow still pointing to the further pole, 
" Skirted Caffraria till the welcome cape, 
" Thence call'd o^ Hope — ^but not to Asia's sons — 
" Spoke the long coast exhausted ; still 'twas hope, 
" Not victory ; nature in one effort foil'd, 
" Still kept the contest doubtful, and engag'd, 
'^ Rous'd all the elements to war. Meanwhile, 
" As once the Titans with Saturnian Jove, 
" So he in happier hour and his bold crew 
" Undaunted conflict held : Old Ocean storm'd, 
" Loud thunder rent the air, the leagued winds 
" Roar'd in his front, as if all Afric's Gods 
'* With necromantic spells had charm'd the storm 
" To shake him from his course — in vain ; for Fate^ 
" That grasp'd his helm with unrelenting hand, 
*' Had register'd his triumph : through the breach 
• " All Lusitania pour'd ; Arabia mourn'd, 
'' And saw her spicy caravans return 
^^ Shorn of their wealth ; the Adriatic bride 
" Like a neglected beauty pin'd away ; 
" Europe which by her hand of late receiv'd 
" India's rich fruits, from the deserted mart 
" Now turn'd aside and pluckt them as they grew. 
" A new found world from out the vraves arose. 
" Now Soffala, and all the swarming coast 
" OffruitfulZanguebar, till where it meets 
*^ The sultry line, pour'd forth their odorous stores. 
"' The thirsty West drank deep the luscious draught, 
" And reel'd with luxury : Emmanuel's throne 
'' Blaz'd with barbaric gems ; aloft he sate 
'^ Encanopied with gold, and circled round 
*' With warriors and with chiefs in Eastern pomp 
^' Resplendent with their spoils. Close in the rear 
" Of conquest march'd the motley papal host, 
" Monks of all colours, brotherhoods and names : 
" Fro\\ming they rear'dthe cross ; th* affrighted tribes 
" Look'd up aghast, and whilst the cannon's mouth 
^* Thunder'd obedience, dropt th^ unwilling knee 
" In trembling adoration of a God, 
^^> Whom, as by nature tutor'd, in his works 
"^ They savr, and only in his mercy knew. 


" Rut creeds, impos'd by terror, can ensure 

" No fixt allegiance, but are straight dismiss'd 

" From the vext conscience, when the sword is sheath *d. 

" Now when the barrier, that so long had stood 
" 'Twixt the disparted nations, was no more, 
*' Like fire once kindled, spreading in its covirse, 
^' Onward the mighty conflagration roU'd. 
" As if the Atlantic and the Southern seas, 
'' Driv'n by opposing winds and urg'd amain 
" By fierce tornadoes, with their cumbrous weight 
" Should on a sudden at the narrowing pass 
*' Of Darien burst the continental chain 
" And whelm together, so the nation rush'd 
^' Impetuous through the breach, where Gama forc'd 
*' His desperate passage ; terrible the shock, 
'' From Ormus echoing to the Eastern isles 
'' Of Java and Sumatra ; India now 
" From the hither Tropic to the Southern Cape 
'' Show'd to the setting sun a shore of blood : 
" In vain her monarchs from a hundred thrones 
" Sounded the arbitrary word for war : 
'' In vain whole cataracts of dusky slaves 
" Pour'donthe coast : earth trembled with the v/eigl t; 
" But what can slaves I What can the nerveless arm, 
" Shrunk by that soft emasculating clime, 
" What the weak dart against the mailed breast 
" Of Europe's martial sons ? On sea, onshore 
" Gre^t Almeed triumph'd, and the rival sword, 
" Of Albuquerque, invincible in arms, 
" Wasted the nations, humbling to the yoke 
" Kings, whom submissive myriads in the dust 
" Prostrate ador'd, and from the solar blaze 
" Of majesty retreating veil'd their eyes. 

" As when a roaming vulture on the wing 
" From Mauritania or the cheerless waste 
"'Of sandy Thibet, by keen hunger prest, 
" With eye quick glancing fi^om his airy height 
" Haply at utmost need descries a fawn, 
" Or kid, disporting in some fruitful vale, 
'^ Down, down at once the greedy felon drops 
" With wings close cow'ring in his hollow sidcb 
" Full on the helpless victim ; thence again 
" Tow'ringin air he bears his luscious prize, 
" And in his native wild enjoys the feast : 


'^8 MEBiaiRS OF 

^' So these forth issuing from the rocky shore 

" Of distant Tagus on the quest for gain 

'* In realms unknown, which feverish fancy paints 

" Glittering with gems and gold, range the Avide aea^^ 

" Till India's isthmus, rising with the sun 

'* To their keen sight, her fertile bosom spreads, 

" Period and palm of all their labours past ; 

'^ Whereat with avarice and ambition fir'd^ 

'^ Eager alike for plunder and for fame, 

"' Onward they press to spring upon their prey ; 

" There every spoil obtain'd, i^hich greedy haste 

*'• By force or fraud could ravage from the hands 

" Of Nature's peaceful sons, again they mount 

'*' Their richly freighted bark; she, while the cries 

^^ Of widov/s and of orphans rend the strand, 

'' Striding the billows, to the venal winds 

•' Sprcv^.ds her broad vans, and flies before the gale. 

" Here as by sad necessity I tell 
'* Of human woes to rend the hearer's heart, 
^' Truth be my muse, and thou, my bosom's star, 
'■' The planetary mistress of my birth, 
*• Parent of all my biiss of all my pain, 
^^ Inspire me, gentle pity and attune 
^' Thy numbers, heavenly cherub, to my strain ! 
^^ Thou, too, for whom my heart breathes every wish, 
'* That filial love can form, fairest of isles, 
" Albion, atleDd and deign to hear a son, 
*^ Who for afiiicted millions, prostrate slaves 
''^ Beneath oppression's scourge, and waining fast 
" By ghastly famine and destructive war, 
*' No venal suit prefers ; so may thy fleets, 
^' Mistress of commerce, link the Western world 
^^ To thy maternal bosom, chace the sun 
*' Up to his source, and in the bright display 
*' Of empire and the liberal search of fame 
*' Belt the wide globe — ^but mount, ye guardian wavesj. 
*' Stand as a wall before tlie spoiler's path I 
*' Yc stars, your bright intelligence withdraw, 
'^ And darkness cover all, whom lust of gold, 
''- Fell rapine, and extortion's guilty hope 
•^ Rouse from their native dust to rend the thrones 
^* Of peaceful princes, and usurp that soil, 
""'■ Wi:ere late as humble traffickers they sought 


" And found a shelter : thus ^vhat they obtam'd 

" By supplication they extend by force, 

^< Till in the Vv'antonness of power they grasp 

" Whole provinces, where nnllions are their slaves. 

" A-h whither sliiill I turn to meet the face 

" Of love and human kindness in this world, 

" On which 1 now am ent'ring ? Gracious heaven, 

" If, as I trust, thou hast bestow'd a sense 

" Of thy best gift benevolence on me, 

" Oh visit me in mercy, and preserve 

" That spark of thy divinity alive, 

" Till time shall end me ! So when all the blasts 

" Of malice and unkindness, which my fate 

" May have in store, shall vent their rage upon me, 

" Feeling, but still forgiving, the assault, 

*' I may persist with patience to devote 

*' My life, my love, my labours to mankind." 

* * * 

The severest misfortune that could menace my unhappy 
patron, was now hanging over him. The state of Lady 
Halifax's health became daily more and more alarming ; 
she seemed to be sinking under a consumptive and exhaust- 
ed constitution. It was then the custom for the chief fami- 
lies in Northamptonshire to attend the country races in great 
form, and the Lord Lieutenant on that occasion made it a 
point to assemble his friends and party in their best equipage 
and array to grace the meeting : this was ever a formidable 
task for poor Lady Halifax, whose tender spirits and declin- 
ing health wxre ill suited to such undertakings ; but upon 
the last year of her accompanying her Lord to this meeting, 
I found her more than usually apprehensive, and she too 
truly predicted that it would accelerate her death. I attend- 
ed upon her at that meeting, and when I expressed my hopes 
that she had escaped her fatigues without any material in- 
jury, as I was handing her to her coach on the morning of 
her departure, she shook her head and again repeated her 
entire conviction that she should not long survive. My 
heart sunk as I took leave of her under this melancholy im- 
pression : we met no rnc^e : she languished for a time, and 
to the irreparable loss of her afflicted husband died. 

1-ady Halifax birth of humble rank, and not endovr-- 
ed by nature with shining talents or sirperioi'x:harmsof per- 
son. She did not aim at that display, wiuch conoiliates popu- 

H 2 


larity, r.or affect those arts, Avhich invite admiration ; with* 
out any of those brilliant qiulides, ^yhici., whilst they giatify 
a husband's vanity, too often endanger ins honour and his 
peace, the virtues of her hc:.rt and the sereiiity of her tem- 
per were so happily adapted loaliiiy ai*<:l tranquilize -the more 
empassioned character of he^ Lord, that every man, who 
knew his nature, could nc^-feii" to-foresee the dangers he 
would be exposed to,"^ whe» she wai no longer at his side. 
He had still a true and faithful friend, in Doctor Crane, and to 
him^ Lady Halifax had been most entirely attached. He 
merited all her confidence^ aJ^d sincerely lamented her loss, 
foreseeing, as I had good reason to know, the unhappy con- 
sequences it might lead to, for by this time I v/as favoured 
-with some tokens of his r^g»rd, that could not be mistaken, 
and though his feelings n^fe forced him into wann expres- 
sions, yet his heart v/a^Hj||j|||^ his friendship sincere. 
Many days passed before I^t^HBrnoned to pay my respects 
to the afflicted .widower, who was represented to me as be- 
ing almost frantic with his grief. I divided this time be- 
tv» een my own;:r}|o|^e and the house of Ecton : at length I 
was invited to ^fl^ton, and the meeting was a very painful 
moment to us both. 

We soon removed to to\vn for the winter season, and there 
whilst politics and public office began to occupy his thoughts 
and by degrees to wean him from his sorrows, I resumed 
my solitary lodgings in Mount-street, where with my old 
Swiss servant for my caterer and cook, I lived in all the 
temperance and nearly all the retirement of a hermit. Then 
it was that I derived ail my resources in the books I pos- 
sessed, and the talents God had given me. I read and wrote 
incessantly, and should have been in absolute solitude but 
for the kind visits of my friend Higgs, who not forge tthig 
-our late intimacy at college and at school, nor disdaining my 
poor fare and dull society, cheered and relieved my spirits 
with the liveliness and hilarity natural to him : these are fa- 
vours I can never forget ; for they supported me at a time 
when I felt all the gloominess of my situation, and yet w^ant- 
ed energy to extricate myself from it, and renounce those 
expectations, to which I had devoted so much time in profit- 
less dependance. I lived indeed upon the narrowest system 
I could adopt, but nevertheless I could not make the income 
jef my feiiov/ship bear me through without the generous as- 
sisUuicc of my futher, and that reflection was the only paiii- 


fill concomitant of a disappointment, that I sliould not in my 
own particular else have wasted a regret ipon. 

In the mean time the long and irksome residence in town, 
which my attendance upon Lord Halifax entdied upon me, 
and the pdnful separation from my family became almost in- 
supportable, and whilst I was meditating a retreat, my good 
father, who participated with me and his whole family in 
these sensations, projected and concluded an exchange for 
his living of StcUiwick with the Reverend Mr.Samuel Knight, 
and with permission of the Bishop of London, took the vicar- 
age of Fulham as an equivalent, and thereby opened to m.e 
the happy prospect of an easier access to those friends so 
justly valued and so truly dear. 

In point of income the two livings were as nearly equal as 
could well be, therefore no pecuniary compensation passed 
between the contracting parties ; but the comforts of tran- 
<]uillity in point of duty, or of conveniencies in respect of lo- 
cality, were all in favour of Mr. Knight, and nothing could 
have prevailed with my father for leaving those, v^^hom he had 
-SO long loved and cherished as his flock, but the generous 
motive of giving me an asylum in the bosoms of my fam- 
ily. With this kind and benevolent object in his view, he 
submitted to the pain of tearing himself from his connexions, 
and amidst the lamentations of his neighbours and parishion- 
ers came up to Fulham to take upon himself the charge of a 
great suburbane parish, and quitted Stanwick, where he had 
resided for the space of thirty years in peace, beloved by all 
around him. 

He found a tolerably good parsonage house at Fulham, in 
which, with my mother and my sisters, he established him- 
self with as much content as could be looked for. Where- 
ever he went the odour of his good name, and of course his 
popularity, was sure to follow him ; but the task of preach- 
ing to a large congregation after being so long familiarized 
to the service of his little church at Stanwick, oppressed his 
modest mind, and though his person, matter and manner 
were such as always left favourable impressions on his 
hearers, yet it was evident to us v/ho knew him and belong- 
ed to him, that he suffered by his exertions. 

Bishop Sherlock was yet living, and resided in the palace, 
but in the last stage of bodily decay. The ruins of that lu- 
minous and powerful mind were still venerable, though his 
speech was almost unintelligible, and his features cruelly 


disarranged and distorted by the palsey ; still his gcnius.was 
alive, and his judgment discriminative, for it was in this la- 
mentable state that he performed the task of selecting ser- 
mons for the last volume he committed to the press, and 
his high reputation was in no respect lowered by the selec- 
tion. I had occasionally the honour of being permitted to 
visit that great man in comj>any with my father, to whom 
he was uniformly kind and gracious, and in token of his fa- 
vour bestowed on him a small Prebend in the church of St. 
Paul, the only one that became vacant within his time. 

Mrs. Sherlock was a truly respectable woman, and my 
mother enjoyed much of her society till the bishop's death 
brought a successor in his place. 

In the adjoining parish of Hammersmith lived Mr. Dod- 
ington, at a splendid villa, which by the rule of contraries 
he was pleased to call La Trappe, and his inmates and fa- 
miliars the monks of the convent ; these were Mr. Wind- 
ham his relation, whom he made his heir, Sir William Bre- 
ton, privy purse to the king, and Doctor Thompson, a phy- 
sician out of practice ; these gentlemen formed a very curi- 
ous society of very opposite characters ; in short it was a trio 
consisting of a misanthrope, a courtier and a quack. Mr. Glo- 
ver, the author of Leonidas, was occasionally a visitor, but 
not an inmate as those above-mentioned. How a man of 
Dodington's sort came to single out men of their sort (with 
the exception of Mr. Glover) is hard to say, but though his 
instruments were never in unison, he managed to make music 
out of them all. He could make and find amusement in 
contrasting the sullenness of a Grurnbetonian with the egre- 
gious vanity and self-conceit of an antiquated coxcomb, and 
as for the Doctor he was a juck-pudding ready to his hand 
at any time. He was understood to be Dodington's body- 
physician, but I believe he cared very little about his patient's 
health, and his patient cared still less about his prescriptions ; 
and when in his capacity of superintendant of his patron's 
dietetics, he cried out one morning at breakfast to have the 
muffins taken away, Dodington aptly enough cried out at the 
same time to the servant to take away the ragamuffin^ and 
truth to say a more dirty animal than poor Thompson was 
never seen on the outside of a pig stye ; yet he had the plea 
of poverty and no passion for cold water. 

It is about a short and pleasant mile from this villa to the 
parsonage house cf Fuiham, and Mr. Dodington having visit* 


e<lus with great politeness, I became a frequent guest at La 
Trappe? and passed a good deal of my time with him there, in 
London also, and occasionally in Dorsetshire. He was cer- 
tioinly one of the most extraordinary men of his time, and as 
I had opportunities of contemplating his character in all its 
various points of view, I trust my readers will not regret that 
I have devoted some pages to the further delineation of it. 

I have before observed that the nature of my business as 
private secretary to Lord Halifax was by no means such as 
to employ any great portion of my time, and of course I 
could devote many hours to my own private pursuits with- 
out neglecting those attendances, which were due to my 
principal. Lord Halifax had also removed his abode to 
Downing-street, having quitted his house in Grosvenor- 
Square upon the decease of his lady, so that I rarely found it 
necessary to sleep in town, and could divide the rest of my 
time between Fulham and La Trappe. It w^as likewise en- 
tirely correspondent with Lord Halifax's wishes that I should 
cultivate my acquaintance with Mr. Dodington, with whom 
he not only lived upon intimate terms as a friend, but was- 
now in tniin to form, as it seemed, some opposition con- 
nexions ; for at this time it happened that upon a breach 
•with the duke of Newxastle, he threw up his office of First 
Lord of Trade and Plantations, and detached himself from 
administration. This took place towards the latter end of 
the late king's reign, and the ground of the measure was a 
breach of promise on the part of the Duke to give him the 
Seals and a Seat in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for the 

In the summer of this year, being now an ex-secretary of 
an ex -statesman, I went to Eastbury, the seat of Mr. Dod- 
ington, in Dorsetshire, and passed the whole time of his 
stay in that place. Lord Halifax with his brother-in-law, 
Colonel Johnstone, of the Blues, paid a visit there, and the 
Countess Dowager of Stafford and old Lady Hervey %vcre 
resident with us the whole time. Our splendid host was ex- 
celled by no man in doing the honours of his house and table ; 
to the ladies he had all the courtly and profound devotion of 
a Spaniard, with the ease and gaiety of a Frenchman towards 
the men. His mansion was magnificent, massy, and stretch^ 
ing out to a great extent of front, with an enormous portico 
ot Doric columns, ascended by a stately flight of steps ; 
there were' turrets and wings tliat went I know not whitlier, 


though now they are levelled with the ground, and gone to 
more ignoble uses : Vanbrugh, who constructed this superb 
edifice, seemed to have had the plan of Blenheim in his 
thoughts, and the interior was as proud and splendid as the 
exterior was bold and imposing. A]l this was exactly in 
unison with the taste of its magnificent owner, who had gilt 
fend furnished the apartments with a profusion of finery, that 
kept no terms with simplicity, and not always with elegance 
or harmony of style. Whatever Mr. Dodington's revenue 
then was, he had the happy art of managing it with that re- 
gularity and (Economy, that I believe he made more display 
at less cost, than any man in the kingdom but himself could 
have done. His town house in Pall-Mail, Lis villa in Ham- 
mersmith, and the mansion above described, vfere such esta- 
blishments as few nobles in the nation were possessed of. 
In either of these he was not to be approached but through a 
suite of apartments, and rarely seated but under painted ceil- 
ings and gilt entablatures. In his villa you were conducted 
through two rows of antique marble statues ranged in a gal- 
lery floored with the rarest marbles, and enriched with 
columns of granite and lapis lazuli ; his saloon was hung with 
the finest Gobelin tapestry, and he slept in a bed encano- 
pied with peacock's feathers in the style of Mrs. Mon- 
tague. When he passed from Pall-Mali to La Trappe it 
was always in a coach, which I could suspect had been his 
ambassadorial equipage at Madrid, drawn by six fat unwiel- 
dy black horses, short docked and of colossal dignity : nei- 
ther was he less characteristic in apparel than in equipage ; 
he had a wardrobe loaded with rich and flaring suits, each in 
itself a load to the wearer, and of these I have no doubt but 
many were coeval with his embassy above mentioned, and 
every birth-day had added to the stock. In doing this he so 
contrived as never to put his old dresses out of countenance 
by any variations in the fashion of the new ; in the mean 
time his bulk and corpulency gave full display to a vast ex- 
panse and profusion of brocade and embroidery, and this, 
when set off* with an enormous tie-perriwig and deep laced 
ruffles, gave the picture of an ancient courtier in his gala ha- 
bit, orQuin in his stage dress; nevertheless it must be confes- 
sed this style, though out of date, was not out of character, 
but harmonized so well with the person of the wearer, that 
I remember when he made his first speech in the House of 
Peers, as Lord Melcombe, all the flashes of his wit, all the 


studied phrases and well-turned periods of his rhetoric lost 
their effect, simply because the orator had laid aside his ma- 
jesterial tie, and put on a modern bag wig, which was as 
much out of costume upon the broad expanse of his shoul- 
ders, as a cue \vould have been upon the robes of the Lord 
Chief Justice. 

Having thus dilated more than perhaps I should have 
done, upon this distinguished person's passion for magnifi- 
cence and display, when I proceed to inquire into those 
principles of good taste which should naturally have been 
the accompaniments and directors of that magnificence, I 
fear I must be compelled by truth to admit that in these he 
was deficient. Of pictures he seemed to take his estimate 
only by their cost ; in fact he was not possessed of any ; but I 
recollect his saying to me one day in his great saloon at East- 
bury, that if he had half a score pictures of a thousand pounds 
apiece, he would gladly decorate his walls with them, in 
place of which, I am sorry to say he had stuck up immense 
patches of gilt leather shaped into bugle horns, upon hang- 
ings of rich crimson velvet, and round his state bed he dis- 
played a carpeting of gold and silver embroidery, which too 
glaringly betrayed its derivation from coat, waistcoat and 
breeches, by the testimony of pockets, button-holes and 
loops, with other equally incontrovertible witnesses, sub- 
poena'd from the tailor's shopboard. When he paid his couit 
at St. James's to the present queen upon her nuptials, he ap- 
proached to kiss her hand decked in an embroidered suit of 
silk with lilac waistcoat and breeches, the latter of which, in 
the act of kneeling down, forgot their duty, and broke loose 
from their moorings in a very indecorous and uncourtly 

In the higher provinces of taste we may contemplate his 
character vvith more pleasure, for he had an ornamented 
fancy and a brilliant wit. He was an elegant Latin classic, 
and well versed in history ancient and modern. His favourite 
prose writer was Tacitus, and I scarce ever surprised him 
in his hours of reading without finding that author upon his 
table before him. He understood him well, and descanted 
upon him very agreeably and with much critical acumen, 
Mr. Dodington was in nothing more remarkable than in 
ready perspicuity and clear discernment of a subject thrown 
before him on a sudden ; take his first tlioughts then, and 
he would charm you j give him time to ponder and refinp, 


you would perceive the spirit of his sentiments and the \u 
gour of his genius evaporate by the process ; for though his 
first view of the question would be a y/ide one and clear 
withal, when he came to exercise the subtlety of his disqui- 
sitorial powers upon it, he would so ingeniously dissect and-- 
break it into fractions, that as an object, when looked upon 
too mtently for a length of time, grows misty and confused, 
so would the question under his discussion, when the humour 
took him to be hyper-critical. Hence it was that his im- 
promptues in parliament were generally more admired than 
his studied speeches, and his first suggestions in the councils 
of his party better attended to than his prepared opinions. 

Being a man of humble birch, he seemed to have an innate 
respect for titles, and none bowed with more devotion to the 
robes and fasces of high rank and office. He was decidedly 
aristocratic : he paid his court to Vv^alpoie in. panegyric 
poems, apologizing for his presumption by reminding him, 
that it was better to be pelted with roses than with rotten 
eggs : to Chester (ieid, to Winitington, Pulteney, Fox and 
the luminaries of his early time he offered up tiie oblations 
of his genius, and incensed them with all the odours of his 
wit: in his latter days, and wit] -in the period of my acquaint- 
ance with him, the Earl of Bute in the plentitude of his pow- 
er was the god of his idolatry. That noble Lord v/as him- 
self too much a manor letters and a patron of the sciences to 
overlook a witty head, that bowed so low, he accordingly 
put a coronet upon it, which, like the barren sceptre in the 
hand of Macbeth, merely served as a ticket for tlie corona- 
tion procession, and having nothing else to leave to poste- 
rity in memory of its owner, left its mark upon the lid of his 

During my stay at Eastbury, v/e were visited by the late 
Mr. Henry Fox and Mr. Alderman Beckford ; the solid 
, good sense of the former, and the dashing loquacity of the 
latter, formed a striking contrast between the characters of 
those gentlemen. To Mr. Fox our host paid all that court- 
ly homage, which he so well knew how to time and where 
to apply ; to Beckford he did not observe the same atten- 
tions, but in the happiest flow of his raillery and wit combat- 
ed this intrepid talker with admirable effect. It was an in- 
terlude truly comic and amusing. Beckford loud, voluble, 
self-sufficient and galled by hits, which he could not parry 
.«.nd probably did not expect, laid hinxseif more and more 


open ill the vehemence of his argument ; Dodington, lolling 
in his chair in perfect apathy and self-command, dosing and 
even snoring at intervals in his lethargic way, broke out 
every now and then into such gleams and flashes of wit and 
irony, as by the contrast of his phlegm with the other's im- 
petuosity, made his humour irresistable, and set the table 
in a roar. He was here upon his very strongest ground, for 
no man was better calculated to exemplify hov/ true the ob- 
servation is 

Ridictilum acri 
Fortius ac melius^^ 

At the same time he had his serious hours and graver to- 
pics, which he would handle with all due solemnity of 
thought and language, and these were to me some of the 
most pleasing hours I have passed with him, for he could 
keep close to his point, if he would, and could be not less 
argumentative than he was eloquent, when the question was 
t)f magnitude enough to interest him. It is with singular 
satisfaction I can truly say that I never knev/ him flippant 
upon sacred subjects. He was, however, generally courted 
and admired as a gay companion rather than as a grave one. 

I have said that the dowager Ladies Stafford and Herve}* 
made part of our domestic society, and as the trivial amuse- 
ment of cards was never resorted to in Mr. Dodington's 
house, it was his custom in the evenmgs to entertain his 
company with reading, and in this art he excelled ; his se- 
lections, however, were curious, for he treated these ladies 
with the whole of Fielding's Jonathan Wild^ in which he 
certainly consulted his own turn for irony rather than theirs 
for elegance, but he set it off with much humour after his 
manner, and they were polite enough to be pleased, or at 
least to appear as if they were. 

His readings from Shakspeare were altogether as whim- 
sical, for he chose his passages only where buffoonery v/as 
the character of the scene ; one of these I remember was 
that of the clown, who brings the asp to Cleopatra. He 
had, however, a manuscript copy of Glover's Medea, which 
he gave us con amove ^ for he was extremely warm in his 
praises of that classical drama, which Mrs. Yates after- 
wards brought upon the stage, and played it Vv'ith her ac- 
customed excellence ; he did me also the honour to devote 
an evening to the reading of some lines, which I had hastily 
wiitten to tiie amount of about four hundred, partly compli- 



mentary to him as my host, and in part consolatory to Lord 
Halitax upon the event of his retiring from public office ; 
they flattered the politics then in favour with Mr. Doding- 
ton, and coincided with his wishes, for detaching Lord Hali- 
fax from the administration of the Duke of Newcastle. I 
was not present, as may well be conceived, at this reading, 
but I confess I sate listening in the next room, and was not 
a little gratified by what I overheard. Of this manuscript 
I have long since destroyed the only copy that I had, and if 
I had it now in my hands it would be only to consign it to 
the flames, for it was of that occasional class of poems for 
the day, which have no claim upon posterity, and in such I 
have not been ambitious to concern myself : it served the 
purpose however and amused the moment ; it was also the 
tribute of my might to the lares of that mansion, where the 
Muse of Young had dictated his tragedy of The Revenge, and 
which the genious of Voltaire had honoured v/ith a visit : here 
Glover had courted inspiration, and Thompson caught it : 
Dodington also himself had a lyre, but he had hung it up, 
and it was never very high sounding ; yet he was some- 
thing more than a mere admirer of the Muse. He wrote 
small poems with great pains, and elaborate letters with 
much terseness of style, and some quaintness of expression : 
I have seen him refer to a volume of his own verses in ma- 
nuscript, but he was very shy, ana I never had the perusal 
of it. I vv^as rather better acquainted with his diary ^ v/hich 
since his death has been published, ai:id I well remeiTiber the 
temporary disgust he seemed to take, when upon his asking 
what I would do with it, should Le bequeath it to my discre- 
tion, I instantly replied, that I would destroy it. There was 
a third, which I more coveted a sight of than either of the 
above, as it contained a miscellaneous collection of anecdotes, 
repartees, gc>€d sayings and humorous incidents, of which 
he was part author and part compiler, and out of wiiich he 
was in the habit of refreshing his memory, when he prepared 
himself to expect certain men of wit and pleasantly either 
at his own house or elsewhere. Upon this practice, which 
he did not affect to conceal, he observed to me one day, that 
it v/as a compliment he paid to society, vrhen he submitted 
to steal weapons out of his own armoury for their entertain- 
ment, and ingeniously added, that although his memory w^ 
not in general so correct as it had been, yet he trusted it 
would save him from the disgrace of repeating the same 


story to the same hearers, or foisting it into conversation in 
the wrong place or out of time. No man had fewer over- 
sights of that sort to answer for, and fewer still v/ere the mea 
whose social talents could be compared with those of Mr. 

Upon my return out of Dorsetshire, I was invited by my 
friends at Trinity College to come andoffer myself as a can- 
didate for the Lay-fellowship then vacant by the death of 
Mr. Titley the Danish envoy. There are but two fellow- 
ships of this description, and there were several solicitors 
for an exemption so desirable, but the unabated kindness of 
the master and seniors patronized my suit, and honoured 
me with that last and most distinguished mark of their fa- 
vour and protection. I did not hold it long, for Providence 
had a blessing in store for me, which was an effectual dis- 
qualification from holding any honours on the terms of ce- 

About this time I wrote my first Irgitimate drama in five 
acts, and entitled it The Banishment of Cicero. I vras led to 
this by the perusal of Middleton's account of his life, which 
afforded me much entertainment. As the hero of a drama 
I was not happy in my choice of Cicero, and banishment is 
a tame incident to depend upon for the interest and catas- 
trophe of a tragic plot. I knew that his philosophy had de- 
serted him on this occasion, and that I could find no feature 
of Coriolanus in the character of my exile, but as I began it 
without any view of offering it to the stage, as long as I found 
amusement I continued to write. As a classical composi- 
tion, which tells its story in fair language, and has stood the 
test of the press both in England and Irelan-;] with the appro- 
bation of some, who were most competent to decide upon it, 
I may venture to say it was creditable to its author as a first 
attempt. It has been long out of print, and when after a 
period of more than forty intermediate years 1 read it (as I 
have now been doing) with all the impartiality in my power, 
I certainly can discover inaccuracies in the diction here and 
there, and in the plot an absolute inaptitude to scenic exhibi- 
tion, yet I think I may presume to say, that as a dramatic 
poem for the closet it will bear examination, though I cannot 
expect that any of its readers at this time would pass so fa- 
vourable a judgment upon it as I was honoured with by Pri- 
mate Stone and Bishop Warburton, from the latter of v* horn 
I received a letter, which I have preserved, and which I can- 


not withstand the temptation of inserting, though I am 
thoroughly conscious it bestows praises far above the merits 
of my humble work— - 

To Richard Cumberland^ Esq. 

Grosvenor-Square, May 15, 1757. 
Dear Sir, 

Let me thank you for the sight of a very fine dramatic 
Poem. It is. (like Mr. Mason's) much too good for a pros- 
titute stage. Yesterday I received a letter from the Prim- 
ate. He was on the point of leaving Bath for Ireland : so 
that my letter got to him just in time — It gives me great 
satisfaction, says he, that my opinion of Bishop Cumber- 
land's grandson agrees with yours, &c. 
I have the honour to be, 

Dear Sir, your very faithful 

And assured humble servant, 

W. Gloucester. 

It is a singular circumstance, though perhaps not a fa- 
vorable one, that in the dramatis personam of this play there is 
not one auxiliary character ; they are all principals, and such 
in respect of consequence as few authors ever brought toge- 
ther in one point of view, for they consist of the two Con- 
suls, L. Cjilphurnius Piso and Aulus Gabinius, the Tribune P. 
Clodius, Cicero and Pomponius Atticus, Caius Piso Frugi, 
Terentiaand Tuliia, wife and daughter of Cicero, and Clodia 
sister of the Tribune, without one speaking attendant or in- 
terloper througi -.ut the piece, except a very few words from 
one Appollodorus. 

To give display to characters like these the bounds of any 
single drama v/culd hardly serve, and of course the arrange- 
ment was so far injudicious ; yet the author, as if he had not 
enough on his hands, goes aside to speak of Catoin the scene 
betwixt Gabinius and Clodius— 

« Gab. — Cato is still severe, is still himself: 

" Rough and unshaken in his squalid garb, 
" He told us he had long in anguish mourned, 
*' Not in a private but the public cause, 
'^ Not for the v/rong of one, but wrong of alK 
^^ Of Liberty, of Virtue and of Pvome, 


" Clod, — No more : I sleep o*er Gate's clro\v3y theme. 
" He is the senate's drone, and dreams of liberty, 
" When Rome's vast empire is set up to sale, 
•* And portioned out to each ambitious bidder 
" In marketable lots " 

In the further progress of the same scene Pompey is men- 
tioned, and Calphurnius Piso introduced in the foilo^vinji; 

<^ Gab, Oh ! who shall attempt to read 

" In Pompey's face the movements of his heart ? 

" The same calm artificial look of state, 

" His half-cloe'd eyes in self-attention wrapt, 

" Serve him alike to mask unseemly joy, 

" Or hide the pangs of envy and revenge. 

" Clod, — See, yonder your old colleague Piso comes ! 
" But name hypocrisy and he appears. 
^^ How like his grandsire's monument he looks I 
" He wears the dress of holy Numa's days, 
" The brow and beard of Zeno : trace him home, 
** You'll find his house the school of vice and lust, 
" The foulest sink of Epicurus' sty, 
" And him the rankest swine of all the herd." 

I find the two first actS are wound up with some couplets 
in rhyme after the manner of the middle age. It will I hope 
be pardonable if I here insert the lines, with which Clodiua 
concludes the first act — ► 

" When flaming comets vex our frighted sphere^ 
" Though now the nations melt with awful fear, 
" From the dread omen fatal ill presage, 
" Dire plague and famine and war's wasting rage ; 
" In time som.e brighter genius may arise, 
" And banish signs and omens from the skies, 
" Expound the comet's nature and its cause, 
" Assign its periods and prescribe its laws, 
" Whilst man grown wise, with his discoveries fraughtj. 
" Shall w^ondjer how he needed to be taught.'* 

I shall only add that the dialogue between Cicero and At- 
ticus in the third act seems in point of poetry one of the hap- 

102 ^ I^fEMOIRS OF 

piest efforts of its author: in short, although this drama has^ 
not all the finishing of a veteran artist, yet in parts it has a 
warmth of coloring and a strength of expression,which might 
induce a candid reader to augur not unfavourably of the no^ 
vice who composed it. 

It is here I begin more particularly to feel the weight of 
those difficulties^ which at my outset I too rashly announced 
myself prepared to meet. When I review that I have been 
saying about this my first drama, and recollect what num- 
bers are behind, I am almost tempted to shrink back from 
the task to wnich I am committed. If indeed the candour 
and liberality of my readers will allow me to step out of my- 
self, (if I may so term it) whilst I am speaking of myself, I 
iiave littie to fear ; but if I must be tied down to my individu- 
ality, and not allowed my fair opinion without incurring the 
charge of self-conceit, I am in a most unenviable situation, 
and must either abandon my undertaking, or cibide by the 
conditions of it with that fortitude I can muster. If, v/hen I 
am professedly the recorder of my own writings, I am to 
record nothing in them or about them but their simple titles 
and the order in v/hich they were vfritten, I give the reader 
nothing more than a catalogue, which any magazine might 
furnish, or the prompter's register as well supply ; if on the 
contrary I proceed to fulfil the real purposes of biographer 
and critic, ought I not to act as honestly and conscientiously 
in my own case, as I would in the instance of another per- 
son ? I think I ought : it is whed the title of my book pro- 
fesses ; how I am to execute it I do not know, and how my 
best endeavours may be received I can form no guess. In 
the mean time I will strive to arm myself with an humble 
but honest mind, resolving, as far as in me lies, not to speak 
partially of my works because they are my own, nor slig^it- 
ingly against my conscience from appr-dhension that readers 
rnay be found to differ from me, where my thoughts may 
seem more favourable than theirs. The latter of these con- 
sequences may perhaps frequently occur, and when it does, 
my memoii^ must encounter it, and acquit theniselves of it 
as they can ; for myself, it. cannot be long before I am alike 
insensible to censure or applause. 

This play, of which I have been speaking, lay by me for 
a considerable time ; till Lord Halifax one dEiy, when we 
were at Bushey Park, desired me to shew it to him ; he read 
it, and irnmediately proposed to carry it to Garrick, and re- 


commend it to him for representation. Garrick was then 
at Hampton, and I went with Lord Halifax across the park 
to his house. This was the first time I found myself in 
company with that extraordinary man. He received his no- 
ble visitor with profound obeisance, and in truth there were 
some claims upon! his civility for favours and indulgcncies 
granted to him by Lord Halifax as Ranger of Bushey Park. 
I was silently attentive to every minute particular of this in- 
terview, and soon discovered the embarassment, which the 
introduction of my manuscript occasioned ; I saw my cause 
was desperate, though my advocate was sanguine, and in 
truth the first effort of a raw author did not promise much 
to the purpose of the manager. He took it, however, with 
all possible respect, and promised an attentive perusal, but 
those tell-tale features, so miraculously gifted in the art of 
assumed enaotions, could [not mask their real ones, and I 
predicted to Lord Halifax, as we returned to the lodge, that 
I had no expectation of my play being accepted. A day or 
two of what might scarce be called suspense confirmed this 
prediction, when Mr. Garrick having stated his despair of 
accommodating a play on such a plan to the purposes of the 
stage, returned the manuscript to Lord Halifax with many- 
apologies to his Lordship, and some few qualifying words 
to its author, which certainly was as much as in reason could 
be expected from him, though it did not satisfy the patron 
of the play, who warmly resented his non-compliance with 
his wishes, and for a length of time forbore to live in habits 
of his former good neighbourhood with him. 

When I published this play, which I soon after did, I was 
conscious that I published Mr. Garrick's justification for re- 
fusing it, and I made no mention of the circumstances above 

George Ridge, Esquire, of Kilmiston, in the county of 
Hants, had two sons and one daughter by Miss Brooke, niece 
to my grandfather Bentley ; with this family we had lived as 
friends and relations in habits of the greatest intimacy. It 
was upon an excursion, as I have before related, to this gen- 
tleman's house tliat I founded my school-boy poem written 
at Bury, and our families had kept up an interchange of an- 
nual visits for a course of time. From these meetings I 
had been for several years excluded by my avocations to col- 
lege or London, till upon Mr. Rirlge's coming to town ac- 
Gompaiiiied by his wife and daughter, and taking lodgings in 


the near neig-hbourhood of Mount-Street, where I held my 
melancholy abode, I was kindly entertained by them, and 
found so many real charms in the modest manner and bloom- 
ing beauty of the amiable daughter, that I passed every hour 
I could command in her society, and devoted all my thoughts 
to the attainment of that happiness, wiiich it was in her pow- 
er to bestow on my future days. As soon therefore as I ob- 
tained, through the patronage of Lord Halifax, a small es- 
tablishment as Crow^n-Agent for the province of Nova Sco- 
tia, I began to hope the object I aspired to was within my 
reach, when upon a visit she made with her parents to mine 
at Fulham, I tendered my addresses, and had the unspeak- 
able felicity to find them accepted, and sanctioned by the con- 
sent of all parties concerned ; thus I became possessed of 
one, whom the virtues of her heart and the charms of her 
person had effectually endeared to me, and on the 1 9th day 
of February, 1759, (being my birth-day) I was married by 
my father in the church of Kilmiston to Elizabeth, only 
daughter of George and Elizabeth Ridge. 

Lord Halifax, upon somp slight concessions from the 
Duke of Newcastle had reassumed his office of First Lord 
of Trade and Plantations, and I returned with my wife to 
Fulham, taking a house for a short time in Duke -Street, 
Westminster, and afterwards m Abingdon Buildings. 

In the following year, upon the death of the king, admin* 
istration it is well known took a new shape, and all eyes were 
turned towards the Earl of Bute, as dispenser of favours and 
awarder of promotions. Mr. Dodington, whom I had visit- 
ed a second time at Eastbury with my wife and her father 
Mr. Ridge, obtained an English peerage, and Lord Flalifax 
was honoured with the high office of Lord Lieutenant of Ire- 
land, and was preparing to open his majesty's first parlia- 
ment in that kingdom : I had reason to believe myself at 
this time very much in his confidence, and in the conduct of 
a certain private transaction, which I am not called upon to 
explain, I had done him faithful service ; happy for him it 
would have been, and the prevention of innumerable trou- 
bles and vexations, if my zealous efforts had been permitted 
to take effect, but a f<:.tai propensity had again seized pos- 
session of him, and probably the more strongly for the inter- 
ruption it had received— but of this enough. 

His family was now to be form.ed upon an establishment 
suitable to his high office. In these arrangements tiiere was 


much to do, and I was fully occupied. Some few persons of 
obscure characters were pressed upon him for subordinate 
situations from a quarter, where I had no communication or 
connection : but I had the satisfaction to see his old and 
faithful friend Doctor Crane prepare himself to head tjie list 
of his chaplains, and Doctor Oswald, afterwards Bishop of 
Raphoe, with my good father, completed that department. 
I obtained a situation for a gentleman, who had married my 
eldest sister, but what gave me peculiar satisfaction was to 
have it in my power to gratify the wishes of one of the best 
and bravest young officers of his time. Captain William 
Ridge, brother to my wife. He had served the whole war 
in America with distinguished reputation ; had been shot 
and carried off the field in the fatal affair of Ticonderoga, 
and was now returned with honorable wounds and the praises 
and esteem of his general and brother officers. This amia- 
ble, this excellent friend, whose heart was as it were my own, 
and whose memory will be ever dear to me, I caused to be 
put upon the staff" of Aids-de-Camp, and had the happiness 
of making him one of my family during the whole time of 
my residence in Dublin Castle, as Ulster Secretary. 

William Gerard Hamilton, a name well known, had ne- 
gociated himself into the office of Chief Secretary. I need 
say no more than that he did not owe this to the choice of 
Lord Halifax : of course it v/as not easy for tliat gentleman 
to find himself in the confidence of his principal, to whom 
he was little known, and in the first instance not altogether 
acceptable. I do not think he took much pains to con- 
quer first impressions, and recommend himself to the 
confidence of Lord Halifax : it is certain he did not 
possess it, and the consequence was, that I, who held 
the secondary post of Ulster Secretary, became involv- 
ed in business of a nature, that should not in the course 
of office have belonged to me. Affiiirs of this sort, which I 
did not court, and had no right to be concerned in, made my 
situation very delicate and not a little dangerous, whilst at 
the same time the entire superintendance of Lord Halifax's 
private finances, then very far from being in a flourishing 
condition, was a task, which no prudent man would covet, 
yet such an one as for his sake I made no scruple to under- 
take. It was his lot to succeed the Duke of Bedford, and 
his high spirit would not suff*er him to sink upon the compa- 
rison ; I found him therefore resolute to start on his career 


with great magniiicence, and leave behind him all attentions 
to expense. All that was in my power I did with unwearied 
diligence and attention to his interest, inspecting his a.ccounts 
and paying his'bills every week to the minutest article. I 
put his Green Cloth upon a liberal, but regulated, establish- 
ment ; I placed a faithful and well experienced servant of 
my father's at the head of his tabtes and equipages, and gave 
charge of the household articles to his principle domestic, of 
whose honesty he had many years experience. 

I had published my tragedy of The Banishment of Cicero, 
by Mr. J. Walter, at Charing-Cross, upon quarto paper in a 
handsome type; I found it pirated and published in a sixpenny 
edition at Dublin, from the press of George Faulkener of im- 
mortal memory : if he had subjoined a true and faithful list of 
errata, I doubt if he could have afforded it at the price. I also 
upon the king's accession composed and published a poem ad- 
dressed to the young sovereign, in Vi4iich I attempted to de- 
lineate the character of the people he was to govern, and 
the principles of that conduct, which, if pursued, v/ould 
ensure their attachment, and establish his own happiness and 
glory. This I v/rote in blank verse : it w^as published by 
Mr. Dodsley, and I did not give my name to it. Of the ex- 
tent of its circulation I cannot speak, neither did I make any 
search into the reviev/s of that time, for the character, good 
or ill, which they thought lit to give iu 

I had taken leave of Lord Melcombe the day preceding 
the coronation, and found him before a looking-glass in his 
new robes practising attitudes and debating within himself 
upon the most graceful mode of carrying his coronet in the 
procession. He was in high glee with his fresh and bloom- 
ing honours, and I left him in the act of dictating a billet to 
Lady Hervey, apprising her that a young Loj'd W2is coming 
to throw himself at her feet. He conjured me to keep my 
Lord Lieutenant firmly attached to Lord Bvite, and we 

Here, hov/ever, I must take leave to pause upon a period 
in the life of my uncle Mr. Bentley, when fortune smiled 
upon him, and his genius was dravm forth into exertion by 
the patronage of Lord Bute. Through my intimacy with 
Mr. Dodington I had been the lucky in stiument of opening 
that channel, which for a time at least brought him afHuence, 
comfort and consideration. There was not a man of literary 
talents then in the kingdom, who stood so high and so de- 


servedly in and favour with the Premier as Mr. Bent- 
ley ; and though, when that great personage went out of 
office, my uncle lost every place ofprolit that could be taken 
from hin), he continued to enjoy a peusion of five hundred 
pounds per annum, in which his widow had her life, and re- 
ceived it many years after his decease. 

Lord Bute had all the disposition of a Mecrenas, and fondly 
hoped he would be the auspicious instrument of opening an 
Augustan reign ; he sent out his runners upon the search 
for men of talents, and Dodington was perfectly reconciled 
to the honour of being his provider in that laudable pursuit, 
for which no man was better qu,a]ified. He was not want- 
ing in intuition to discern what the jpowers of Bentley's 
genius were, and none could better point out the purposes, 
to v/hich they might be usefully directed. Opposition was 
then beginning to look up, and soon felt the sharp point of 
Bentley's pen in one of the keenest and wittiest satires ex- 
tant in our language. Lord Temple, Wilkes, and others 
of the party were attacked with unsparing asperity, and 
much classical acumen. Churchill, the Dryden of his age, 
and indisputably a man of a first-rate genius, was too candid 
not to acknowledge the merit of the poem, and when he de- 
clined taking up the gauntlet so pointedly thrown down to 
him, it was not because he held his challenger in contempt. 
It was this poem, that brought an accumulation of favours^ 
on its author, but I don't know that he ever had an interview 
with the bestower of them, and I am rather inclined to think 
they never met. About the same time my uncle composed 
his witty but eccentric drama of The Wishes^ in which he 
introduces the speaking Harlequin after the manner of the 
Italians. This curious production, after being circulated in 
manuscript, admired and applauded by all who had seen it, 
and those the very party which led the taste of the time un- 
der the auspices of Lord Bute, was privately rehearsed at 
Lord Melcombe's villa of La Trappe. It was on a beautiful 
summer's evening when it was recited upon the terrace on 
the banks of the Thames, by Obrien, Miss Elliot, Mrs. 
Haughton and some few others under the management of 
Foote and Murphy, who attended on the occasion. At this 
rehearsal, there was present — a youih tinloiowji to fame — who 
was understood to be protected by Lord Bute, and came thi- 
ther in a hackney coach w4th Mrs. Haughton. This gen- 
tleman was of the party at the supper with which the even- 


ing's entertaiiimexit concluded ; he modestly resigned the 
conversation to those, who were more disposed to carry it 
on, whilst it was only in the contemplation of an intelligent 
countenance that we could form any conjecture as to that 
extraordinary gift of genius, which in coiu'se of time advanced 
him to the great seal of the kingdom and the Earldom of 

Foote, Murphy and Obrien were then joint conductors 
of the summer theatre, and performed their plays upon 
the stage of Drury Lane, and here they brought out The 
Wishes^ which had now been so much the topic of con- 
versation, that it drew all the wit and fashion then in town 
to its first representation. The brilliancy of its dialogue 
and the reiterated strokes of point and repartee kept the 
audience in good humour with the leading acts, and seem- 
ed to augur favourably for the conclusion, till when the 
last of the Three Wishes produced the ridiculous catas- 
trophe of the hanging of Harlequin in full view of the audi- 
ence, my uncle, the author, then sitting by me, whispered 
in my ear—'' If they don't damn this, they deserve to be 
" damn'd themselves" — and whilst he was yet speaking 
the roar began, and Th§ Wishes were irrevocably condemned. 
Mr. Harris some years after gave it a second chance upon 
his stage : the judgment of. the public could not take away 
the merit of the poet, but it decided against his success. 
Upon the hint of this play and the entertainments at La 
Trappe, where f5ot had been a guest, that wicked wit took 
measure of his host, and founded his satirical drama of The 
Patron-^m short he feasted, flattered and lampooned. 

Mr. Bentley also wrote a very elegant poem, and addres- 
sed it as an epistle to Lord Melcombe : it was in my opinion 
a most exquisite composition, in no respect inferior to his 
satire, but for reasons I could never understand, nor even 
guess, it was coolly received by Melcombe, and stopt with 
him. If that poem is in the hands of any of Mr. Bentley's 
family, it is much to be regretted that they withhold it from 
the public, though all that was then temporary is now long 
past and forgotten. 

What may be the nature or amount of the manuscripts, 
which my uncle may have left behind him, I do not know : 
I can speak only of two dramas ; one of these entitled Philo- 
damus has been given to the public by Mr. Harris, and 
Henderson performed the cliaracter that gives its name to 


the play. The ingenious author always wrote for the reader, 
he did not study how to humour the spectator : Philodanuis 
has much of the old cast in its style, with a considerable 
portion of originality and a bold vein of humour running 
through it, occasionally intermixed even with the pathos of 
the scene, which in a modern composition, pn[)fessing itself 
to be a tragedy, is a perilous experiment. ' Such it proved 
to Philodamus : its very best passages in perusal were its 
weakest points in representation, and it may be truly said 
it was ruined by its virtues ; but in the galleries of our thea- 
tres the graces have no seats, and he that writes to the po- 
pulace must not borrow the pen of the author of Philodamus. 
Poet Gray wrote a long and elaborate critique on this drama, 
which I saw, and though his flattery was outrageously pedan- 
tic, yet the incense of praise from author to author is always 
sweet, and perhaps not the less acceptable on account of its 
being so seldom offered up. The other drama on the Ge- 
noese Conspiracy I saw in its unfinished state, and can only 
say that I was struck by certain passages, but cannot speak 
of it as a whole. 

When the ceremony of the coronation Was over, the,Lord 
Lieutenant set out for Ireland with a numerous cavalcade. 
I w^as now the father of two infant children, a daughter and 
a son ; these I left with their grandmother Mrs. Ridge, and 
was accompanied by my wife, though in a state ill calculated 
to endure the rough roads by land, and the more rough pas- 
sage by sea : my father, mother and sisters were with us in 
the yacht ; they took a house in Dublin, and I was by oflice 
an inhabitant of the castle, and lodged in very excellent and 
commodious apartments. 

The speech of the Lord Lieutenant upon the opening of 
the session is upon record. It was generally esteemed a 
very brilliunt composition. His graceful person and impres- 
sive manner of delivery set it off to its best advantage, and 
all things seemed to aur;ur well for his success. When I 
Avas called in jointly witn Secretary Hamilton to take the 
project and rough copy of this speech into consideration, I 
could not help remarking tlie extraordinary efforts which 
that gentleman made to engraft his own very peculiar style 
upon the sketch before him ; in this I sometimes agreed 
with him, but more commonly opposed him, till LordTrlaii- 
fax, whose patience began to be exhausted, no longer sub- 
mitted his copy to be dissected, but took it to himself with 



svTch alterations as he saw fit to adopt, and those but few. 
I must candidly acknowledge that at times when I have 
heard people searching for internal evidence in the style of 
Junius as to tlie author of those famous letters, I have called 
to recollection this circumstance, which I have now related, 
and occasionally said that the style of Junius bore a strong 
resemblance to what I had observed of the style of Secretary 
Hamilton ; beyond this I never had the least grounds for 
conjecture, nor any clue to lead me to the discovery of that 
anonymous writer beyond what I have alluded to. 

I remember a conversation he held with me some time be- 
fore we left England on the subject of Mr. Edmund Burke, 
"whom he had then attached to himself, and for whom he 
wished me to assist in projecting some establishment. I 
liad then never seen that eminent person, nor did I meet 
him till after my arrival in Dublin, when I had merely the 
opportunity of introducing myself to him in passing through 
the apartment, where he was in attendance upon Mr. Hamil- 
ton. He had indeed his fortune to make, but he was not 
disposed to make it by any means but such as perfectly ac- 
corded with his feelings and his honor ; for when Mr. Ham- 
ilton contrived to accommodate him by some private ma- 
noeuvre, which I am not correctly possessed of, he saw occa- 
sion in a shoit time after his acceptance of it to throw it up, 
and break from all connexion with that gentleman and his 
politics. With the Lord Lieutenant, he had little if any, 
correspondence or acquaintance, for though Lord Halifax's 
intuition could not fail to discover the merits of Mr. Burke, 
and rightly to have appreciated them, had they ever come 
cordially into contact, it was not from the quarter in which 
he was then placed, that favour and promotion might be 
looked for. 

Vv'ithout entering upon the superannuated politics of that 
time, it i<3 enough to say that the king's business was carried 
through the cession with success, and when the vote was 
passed for Wgnaenting the revenur: of the Lord Lieutenant, 
and setting it at the standard to which it is now fixed, he 
accepted and passed it in favour of his successors, but per- 
emptorily rejected it for himself. At this very time I had 
issued to the amount of twenty thousand pounds expended 
in office, whilst he had been receiving about twelve, and I 
know not where that man could have been found, to whom 
those exceedings were more severely embarassing than to 


this disinterested personage ; but in this case he acted en- 
tirely from the dictates of his ov.-n high spirit, scarce deign- 
ing to lend an ear to the remonstrances even of Doctor 
Crane, and taking his n>easures with such rapidity, as to 
preclude all hesitation or debate. 

His popularity however was so established by his higii 
minded proceeding, that upon his departure from Ireland all 
parties seem.ed to unite in applauding his conduct and invc- 
Idng his return : the shore was thronged with crowds o;' 
people, that followed him to the water's edge, and the sea 
was in a manner covered with boats and vessels, that accom- 
panied the yacht through the bay, studious to pay to their 
popular chief governor every valedictory honour, that their 
zeal and attention could devise. 

The patronage of the Lord Lieutenant was at that time 
soextrem.ely circumscribed, that except in the church and 
army few expectants could have been put in possession of 
their wishes, had not my under-secretary Mr. RoseingraA^e 
discovered a number of lapsed patents, that had laid dor- 
mant in my office for a length of time, neither allowances 
nor perquisites being annexed to them. When a pretty 
considerable number of these patents were collected, and a 
list of them made out, I laid them before the Lord Lieuten- 
ant for his disposal in such manner as he saw fit. He at 
once discerned the great accommodation they would afTord 
him, and very gladly availed himself of them, obtaiviing 
grants of parliament for each respectively, which, though 
virtually pensions, were not so glaringly obnoxious, nor 
were any of them in fact such absolute sinecures, some du- 
ty being attached to every one of them. They were certain- 
ly a very seasonable accession to his patronage, and I make 
no doubt a very acceptable one to the circumstances of those, 
on whom he bestowed them, I sought no share in the spoil, 
but rather wished to stand correctly clear of any interested 
part in the transaction ; some small thing, however, I ask- 
ed and obtained for my v/orthy second Mr. Roseingrave, 
who had all the merit of the manoeuvre, and many other mer- 
its of a much superior sort, for which I sincerely esteemed / 
him, and, till his deatli put an end to our correspondence,' 
preserved a constant interchance offriendly sentiments, arj 
at times of visits, when either he came to England, or, J 
passed over to Ireland. 

And here, in justice to myself, I must take credit , for a 


disinterestedness which never could be betrayed into the ac- 
ceptance of any thing, however covered or contrived (and 
many were the devices then ingeniously practised upon me) 
which delicacy could possibly interpret as a gratuity, whether ' 
tendered as an acknowledgment for favours past, or an in- 
ducement for services to come. As I went to Ireland so I 
returned from it, perfectly clean-handed, not having profited 
my small fortune in the value of a single shilling, except 
from the fair income of my office arising from the establish- 
ed fees upon wool-licences, which netted, as well as I can 
recollect, about 3001. per annum, and did not clear my ex- 
traordinary expenses. 

Towards the close of the session the Lord Lieutenant took 
occasion one morning, when I waited upon him with his pri- 
vate accounts, to express his satisfaction in my services, ad- 
ding that he wished to murk his particular approbation of me 
by obtaining for me the rank of a baronet : a title, he observed, 
very fit in his opinion for me to liold, as my father would 
in all probability be a bishop, and had a competant estate, 
which Vvould descend to me. I confess it was not the sort 
of favour I expected, and struck me as a gaudy insubstan- 
tial offer, which as a mere addition to my name v/ithout any 
to my circumstances, was, (as my friend Isted afterwards 
described it) a mere mouthful of moonshine. I received the 
tender notwithstanding with all the due respect, and only de- 
^red time to turn it in my thoughts. I was now the father 
of three children, for I had a daughter born in the castle, and 
when I found my father and my whole family adverse to the 
proposal, I signified to Lord Halifax my wish to decline the 
honour he had been pleased to offer me : I certainly did not 
make my court to him by this refusal, and vanity, if I had 
listened to it, would in this instance have taught me better 
policy, but to err on the side of moderation and humility is 
an error that ought not to be repented of; though I have 
reason to think from ensuing circumstances, that- it contri- 
buted to weaken an interest, which so many engines were 
at work to extinguish. In fact I plainly saw it was not for 
nie to expect any lasting tenure in the share I then possessed 
of favour, unless I kept it up by sacrifices I was determined 
not to make ; in short I had not that worldly wisdom, which 
could prevail with me to pay my homage in that quarter, from 
which my patron derived his ruin, and purchase by disgrace- 
£ul Attentions a continuance of that claim to his protection and 


regard, which I had earned by long and faithful services for 
ten years past, (the third part of my life) without intermis- 
sion, and for the longer halfof that time without consideration 
or reward. 

As sure as ever my history brings me to the mention of 
that fatal step, which took me out of the path I was in, and 
turned me from the prosecution of those peaceful studies, to 
which I was so cordially devoted, and which were leading 
me to a profession, wherein some that went before me had 
distinguished themselves with such credit, so sure am I to 
feel at my heart a pang, that wounds me with regret 
and self-reproach for having yielded to a delusion at the 
inexperienced age of nineteen, since which I have seen 
more than half a century go by, every day of which has only 
served to strengthen more and more the full conviction of 
my error. 

Hamilton, who in the English parliament got the nick- 
name of Single-speech, spoke well, but not often, in the Irish 
House of Commons. He had a promptitude of thought, and 
a rapid flow of well-conceived matter, with many other re- 
quisites, that only seemed waiting for opportunities to esta- 
blish his reputation as an orator. He had a striking counte- 
nance, a graceful carriage, great self-possession and personal 
courage : he was not easily put out of his way by any of 
those unaccommodating repugnances, that men of weaker 
nerves or more tender consciences might have stumbled at, 
or been checked by ; he could mask the passions, that were 
natural to him, and assume those, that did not l)elong to him ; 
he was indefatigable, meditative, mysterious ; his opinions 
were the result of long labour and much reflection, but he 
had the art of setting tliem forth as if they were the starts of 
ready genius and a quick perception : he had as much seem- 
ing steadiness as a partisan could stand in need of, and all 
the real flexibiliy, that could suit his purpose, or advance his 
interest. He would fain have retained his connection with 
Edmund Burke, and associated him to his politics, for he 
well knew the value of his talents, but in that object he was 
soon disappointed : the genius of Burke was of too high a 
cast to endure debasement. 

The bishopric of Elphin became vacant, and was offered 
to Doctor Crane, who, though moderately beneficed in En- 
gland, withstood the temptation of that valuable mitre, and 
tlisu:iterestediy declined it. This was a decisive instance of 

K 2 


the purity as well as moderation of his mind, for had he not 
disdained all ideas of negociation in church preferments, he 
might have accepted the see of Elphin, and traded with it in 
England, as others have done both before and since his time. 
He was not a man of this sort ; he returned to his prebendal 
house at Westminster in the little cloysters, and some years 
before his death resided in his parsonage house at Sutton, a 
living given him by Sir Roger Burgoyne, near to which I 
had a house, from which I paid him frequent visits, and 
vrith unspeakable concern saw that excellent man resign 
himself v,^ith patience truly Christian to the dreadful and tor- 
menting visitation of a cancer in his face. I was at my house 
atTetworth near Sutton in Bedfordshire, when he rode over 
to me one morning, and complained of a soreness on his lip, 
which he said he had hurt in shaving himself; it was hardly 
discernable, but alas ! it contained the seeds of that dire dis- 
ease, and from that moment kept spreading over his face with 
excruciating agony, which allowed him no repose, till it laid 
him in his grave. 

By his refusal of Elphin, Doctor Oswald was promoted to 
an inferior bishopric, and my father thereby stood next upon 
the roll for a mitre : in the mean time he formed his friend- 
ships in Ireland with some of the most respectable charac- 
ters, and made a visit, accompanied by my mother, to Doctor 
Pocock, Bishop of Ossory, at his episcopal house at Kil- 
kenny. That celebrated oriental traveller and author was 
a naan of mild manners and primitive simplicity : having 
given the world a full detail of his researches in Egypt, he 
seemed to hold himself excused from saying any thmg more 
about them, and observed in general an obdurate taciturnity, 
in his carriage and deportment he appeared to have con- 
tracted, something of the Arab character, yet there was no 
austerity in his silence, and though his air was solemn his 
temper was serene. When we were on our road to Ireland, 
I saw from the v/indov/s of the inn at Daventry a cavalcade 
of horsemen approaching on a gentle trot, headed by an el- 
derly chief in clerical attire, who was followed by five ser- 
vants at distances geometrically measured and most precise- 
ly maintained, and who upon entering the inn proved to be 
this distinguished prelate, conducting his horde with the 
phlegmatic patience of a S^heik. 

. I found the state of society in Dublin very different from 
what I had observed in London : the professions more inter ■- 


iTiixt, and ranks more blended ; in the j^rcat houses I met a 
promiscuous assembly of politicians, lawyers, soldiers ^nd 
divines ; the profusion of their tables struck mc with sur- 
prise ; nothing that I had seen in England could rival the 
Polish magnificence of Primate Stone, or the Parisian lux- 
ury of Mr. Clements. The style of Dodington was stately, 
but there was a watchful and well-regulated ceconomy over 
all, that here seemed out of sight and out of mind. The 
professional gravity of character maintained by our English 
dignitaries was here laid aside, and in several prelatical 
houses the mitre was so mingled with the cockade, and the 
glass circulated so freely, that I perceived the spirit, of con- 
viviality was by no means excludx^d from^ the pale of the 
church of Ireland. 

Primate Stone was at that time in the zenith of his power ; 
he had a great following ; his intellect was as strong as ever, 
but his constitution was in its waine. I had frequent occa- 
sions to resort to him, and much reason to speak highly of 
his candour and condescension. No man faced difficulties 
with greater courage, none overcame them v/ith more ad- 
dixss ; he was formed to hold command over turbulent spi- 
rits in tempestuous seasons ; for if he could not absolutely 
rule the passions of men, he could artfully rule men by the 
medium of their passions ; he had great suavity of manners 
when points were to be carried by insinuation and finesse ; 
but if authority was necessarily to be enforced, none could 
hold it with a higher hand : he was an elegant scholar, a 
consummate politician, a very fine gentleman, and in every 
character seen to more advantage than in that, which accord- 
ing to his sacred function should have been his .chief and 
only object to sustain. 

Doctor Robinson, was by Lord Halifax translated from the 
see of Ferns to that of Kildare. I had even then a presen- 
timent that we were forwarding his advancement tow^ards the 
primacy, and persuaded myself that the successor of Stone 
would be found in the person of the Bishop of Kildare. Of 
him I shall probably have occasion to speak more at large 
hereafter, for the acquaintance, which I had the honour to 
form with him at this time, was in the further course of it 
ripened into friendship and an intimacy, which he never suf- 
fered to abate, and I prized too highly to neglect. 

I made but one short excursion from Dublin, and this was 
to the house of that gailaiU officer Colonel Ford, who per- 


ished in his passage to India, and who was married to a re- 
lation of my wife. Having established his fame in the battle 
of Plassey and several other actions, he seated himself at 
Johnstown in the centre of an inveterate bog, but the soil, 
such as it was, had the recommendation to him of being his 
native soil, and all its deformities vanished from his sight. 

I had more than once the amusement of dining at the 
house of that most singular being George Faulkner, where 
I found myself in a company so miscellaneously and whim- 
sically classed, that it looked more like a fortuitous con- 
course of oddities, jumbled together from all ranks, orders 
and descriptions, than the effect of invitation and design. 
Description must fall short in the attempt to convey any 
sketch of that eccentric being to those, who have not read 
him in the notes of Jephson, or seen him in the mimicki^y of 
Foote, who in his portraits of Faulkner found the only 
sitter, whom his extravagant pencil could not caricature ; for 
he had a solemn intrepidity of egotism, cind a daring con- 
tempt of absurdity, that fairly outfaced imitation, and like 
Garrick's Ode on Shakspeare, which Johnson said "defied 
criticism," so did George in the original spirit of his 
own perfect buffoonery defy caricature. He never deign- 
ed to join in the laugh he had raised, nor seemed to 
have a feeling of the ridicule he had provoked : at the 
same time that he was pre-eminently and by preference 
the butt and buffoon of the company, he could find open- 
ings and opportunities for hits of retaliation, which were 
such left-handed thrusts as few could parry : nobody could 
foresee where they would fall, nobody of course was fore- 
armed, and as there was in his calculation but one super- 
eminent character in the kingdom of Ireland, and he the 
printer of the Dublin Journal, rank was no shield against 
George's arrows, which flew where he listed, and fixed or 
missed as chance directed, he cared not about consequences. 
He gave good meat and excellent claret in abundance ; I 
sate at his table once from dinner till two in the morning, 
whilst George swallowed immense potations with one soli- 
tary sodden strawberry at the bottom of the glass, which he 
said was recommended to him by his doctor for its cooling 
properties. He never lost his recollection or equilibrium 
the whole time, and was in excellent foolery ; it was a sin- 
gular coincidence, that there v/as a person in company, v/ha 
had received his reprieve at the gallows, and the very judge 


who had passed sentence of death upon him. This did not 
in the least disturb the harmony of the society, nor embar- 
rass any human creature present. All went off perfectly 
smooth, and George, adverting to an original portrait of 
Dean Swift, which hung in his room, told us abundance of 
excellent and interesting anecdotes of the Dean and himself 
with minute precision and an importance irresistibly ludi- 
crous. There was also a portrait of his late lady Mrs. 
Faulkner, which either made the painter or George a liar, 
for it was frightfully ugly, whilst he swore she was the most 
divine object in creation. In the mean time he took credit 
to himself for a few deviations in point of gallantry, and as- 
serted that he broke his leg in flying from the fury of an en- 
raged husband, whilst Foote constantly maintained that he 
fell down an area with a tray of meat upon his shoulder, when 
he was journeyman to a butcher : I believe neither of them 
spoke the truth. George prosecuted Foote for lampooning 
him on the stage of Dublin ; his counsel the prime serjeant 
compared him to Socrates and his libeller to Aristophanes ; 
this I believe was all that George got by his course of law : 
but he was told he had the best of the bargain in the compa- 
rison, and sate down contented under the shadow of his lau- 
rels. In process of time he became an alderman ; I paid my 
court to him in that character, but I thought he was rather 
marred than mended by his dignity. George grew grave 
and sentimental, and sentiment and gravity sate as ill upon 
George, as a gown and a square cap would upon a monkey. 

Mrs. Dancer, then in her prime, and very beautiful, was 
acting with Barry at the Crow-Street theatre, and Miss 
Elliot, who had played in Mr. Bentley's Wishes^ came over 
v/ith the recommendation of Mr. Arthur Murphy, who in- 
terested himself much in her success : this young unedu- 
cated girl had great natural talents, and played the part of 
Maria in her patron's farce of The Citizen, with admirable 
spirit and effect. The whimsical mock-opera of Midas was 
first brought upon the Dublin stage in this season, and had 
all the protection, which the castle patronage could bestow, 
and that could not be more than its pleasantry and originality 

When the time for our departure was in near approach, 
the Lord Lieutenant expressed his wish that I would take 
the conduct of his daughters and the ladies of his family 
on their journey home, whilst he went forward, and would 


expect us at Bushey Park. Circumstanced as I was, I could 
not undertake the charge of his family without abandoning 
that of my own, which I did with the utmost regret, though 
my brother-in-law, Captain Ridge, kindly offered himself to 
conduct his sister and her infant to the place of their destina- 
tion, and accordingly embarked with them in a pacquet for 
Holy-head some days before my departure. Painful as this 
parting was, I had yet the consolation of surrendering those 
objects of my affection to the care of him, whom I would 
have chosen out of all men living for the trust. They were 
to repose for a few days at a house called Tyrin^aam, within a 
short distance of Newport Pagnell, which I had taken of the 
heir of the Bakewell family. It was a large and venerable old 
mansion, situated on the banks of the river Ouse, and had 
caught my eye as I was on my road to Ireland : understand- 
ing it was furnished and to be let, I crossed the river, and in 
a few minutes conversation with the steward agreed to take 
it, and in this I was in some degree biassed by the conside- 
ration of its near neighbourhood to Lord Halifax, at Horton. 
It was a hasty bargain, but one of the cheapest ever made, 
and I had no occasion at any time after to repent of it. 

When we arrived at Bushey Park, and I had surrender^ 
ed my charge to Lord Halifiix, I lost no further time, 
but hastened to my wife, who was then in Hamphire at 
her father's, where the children we left behind us had been 
kindly harboured ; them indeed I found in perfect health, 
but that and every other joy attendant on my return was 
at once extinguished in the afflicting persuasion, that I had 
only arrived in time to take a last leave of my dying wife, 
who was then in the crisis of a most violent fever, exhaust- 
ed, senseless and scarce alive. Many florid writers would 
seize the opportunity of describing scenes of this sort ; I shall 
decline it. It was my happy lot to see her excellent consti- 
tution surmount the shock, and to witness her recovery in 
her native air by the blessing of Providence and the unwea- 
ried attentions of her hospitable parents. As soon as she 
was re-established in her health, we removed with our chil- 
dren to Tyringham, where my wife had left her infant fel- 
low-traveller in the care of an excellent young woman, who 
from the day of our marriage to the day of her death lived 
with me and my family, faithfully attached and strictly ful- 
filling every part of her duty. 


A short time before Lord Halifax quitted the government 
of Ireland, in which he was succeeded by the Duke of Nor- 
thumberland, a vacancy happened in the bench of bishops, 
and my father was promoted to the see of Cloftfert. Tliis 
vacancy fell so close upon the expiration of Lord Halifax's 
government, that great efforts M^ere made and considerable 
interest exerted to wrest the nomination out of his lordship's 
patronage, and throw it into the disposal of his successor ; 
it was proposed to recompense my father by preferment of 
some other description ; but this was firmly resisted by 
Lord Halifax, and the mitre was bestowed upon one, who 
wore it to the last hour of his life with unblemished reputa- 
tion, honoured, beloved, and I may say (almost without a 
figure) adored by the people of Ireland for his benevolence, 
his equity, his integrity, and every virtue that could make 
him dear to his fellow-creatures, and acceptable to his 

The expectant, who, if I was rightly informed, would 
have obtained the bishopric of Clonfert in the event of my 
father's being deprived of it, has had reason to felicitate him- 
self on his disappointment, if as I just now observed, I am not 
mistaken in believing Doctor Markham was the person, 
whose happy destiny sent my father to Ireland, and reserved 
him for better fortune at home, and higher dignities most 
worthily bestowed and most honourably enjoyed. 

My father in the mean time had returned to liis vicarage 
of Fulham, and sate down without repining at the issue of 
his expedition, which now seemed to close upon him with- 
out any prospect of success, when I hastened to impart to 
him the intelligence I had just received from Secretary- 
Hamilton whom I had accidentally crossed upon in Parlia- 
ment-Street. He received it in his calm manner, modestly 
remarking, that his talents were not turned to public life, 
nor did he foresee any material advantages likely to accrue 
to such as belonged to him from his promotion to an Irish 
bishopric ; it was not consistent, he said, with his principles 
to avail himself of the patronage in that country to the ex- 
clusion of the clergy of his diocese, and of course he must 
deny himself tlie gratification of serving his friends and re- 
lations in England, if any such should solicit him. This did 
happen in more instances than one, and I can witness with 
what pain he withstood requests, which he would have 
been so happy to have complied with ; but his conscience 


was a rule to him, and he never deviated from it in a single 
instance. He further observed in the course of this con- 
versation vi^ith me what I have before noticed in my 
remarks upon Bishop Cumberland's appropriation of his 
episcopal revenue, and, alluding to that rule as laid 
down by his grandfather, expressed his approbation of 
it, and sdd, that though he could not aspire to the most 
distant comparison with him in great matters, yet he 
trusted he should not be found degenerate in principle ; 
and certainly he did not trust in himself without reason. 
In conclusion he said, that having visited Ireland, and form- 
ed many pleasing and respectable connexions there, he would 
quietly wait the event without embarrassing Lord Halifax 
with any solicitation, and when he thought he perceived me 
in a disposition to be not quite so tranquil and sedantary in 
the business, he positively forbade me to make any stir, or 
give Lord Halifax any trouble on his account — " You have 
" shewn you moderation," added he, " in declining the title 
" that was offered to you ; let me at least betray no eagerness 
*' in courting that, which may or may not devolve upon me. 
" Had it not been for you it would never have come under 
'' my contemplation ; I should still have remained parson of 
" Stanwick, but the same circumstances, that have drawn 
" you from your studies, have taken me from my solitude, 
" and if you c\re thus zealous to transport me and your mo - 
" ther into another kingdom, I hope you will be not less so- 
" licitous to visit and console us with the sight of you, when 
" we are there." 

I bless God I have not to reproach myself with neglecting 
this tender and paternal injunction. Not a year past during 
my father's residence in Ireland that I did not happily de- 
vote some months of it to the fulfilment of this duty, always 
ticcompanied by my wife, and, with the exception of one 
time only, by some part of my young family. 

In a few days after this conversation I was authorized to 
announce to my father his nomination to the bishopric of 
Clonfert. He lost no time in arranging his affairs, and pre- 
paring for his departure with my mother and my younger 
sister, then unmarried. Lord Halifax in the mean time had 
received the Seals of Secretary of State : he had to name 
one Under-Secretary and his choice fell upon a gentleman 
of the name of Sedgewicke, who had attended upon him to 
Ireland under the capacity of Master of the Horse, and on 


tills promotion vacated an employ, which he held in the 
Office of Trade and Plantations under the denomination of 
Clerk of the Reports. He was a civil, mannerly, and as f{\r 
as suited him, an obsequious little gentleman ; fond of busi- 
ness, and very busy in it, be it v» hat it might ; his trainhig 
had been in oifice, and his education stamped his character 
with marks, that could not be mistaken : he v/eTl knev/ how 
to follow up preferment to its source, and though the w^aters 
of that spring were not very pure, he drank devoutly at the 
fountain head, and was rewarded for his perseverance. 

I could not be said to suffer any disappointment on the 
occasion of this gentleman's promotion : I had due warning 
of the alternative, that presented itself to my choice. I had 
a holding on Lord Halifax, founded on my father's mxcrits, 
and a long and faithful attachment on my own part ; but as 
I had hitherto kept the straight and fair track in following 
his fortunes, I would not consent to deviate into indirect 
roads, and disgrace myself in the eyes of his and my ov/n 
connexions, who would have marked my conduct with de- 
served contempt. In attending upon him to Irela.nd I had 
the example o^ Doctor Crane to refer to, and I had his advice 
and approbation on this occasion for tendering my services, 
when he received the seals, as a point of duty, though net 
with any expectation of my tender being accepted. The 
answer was exactly what I looked to receive — cool in its 
terms, repulsive in its purport-—/ ivas not Jit for evcjy situa* 
/2072— Nothing could be more true, neither did I oppose a 
single word to the conviction it carried with it : in that I ac- 
quiesced respectfully and silently ; but I said a few words 
in thankful acknowledgment of the favour he had conferred 
upon my father, and for that, which I had received in my 
ov/n person, namely the Crown-Agency of Nova-Scotia. 
Perhaps he did not quite expect to have disposed of me with 
so little trouble to himself, for my manner seemed to waken 
some sensations,which led him to dilate a little on his motives 
for declining to employ me, inasmuch as I did not speak 
French. This also was not less true than his first remark, 
for as certainly as I was not fit for all situations, so surely 
w^as I unfit for this, if speaking French fluently (though I un- 
derstood it as a language) v/as a qualification not to be dis- 
pensed with. In short I admitted this objection in its full 
force, well persuaded, that if I had possesed the elegance 
and perfection of Voltaire himself hi that language. I should 


not have been a step nearer to the office in question. When 
we know ourselves to be put aside for reasons that do not 
touch the character, but will not truly be revealed, we do 
well to acquiesce in the very fust civil, though evasive, a;^G- 
logy, that is passed upon us in the way of explanation. 

Finding myself thus cast out of employ, and Mr. Sedge- 
wicke in possession of his office, I began to think it might be 
worth my Avhile to endeavour at succeeding him in his situ- 
ation at the Board of Trade, and submit to follow him as he 
had once followed and now passed me in this road to prefer- 
ment. After above eleven years attendance, m.y profit was 
the sole attainment of.^ place of two hundred pounds per 
annum, my loss was that of the expense I had put my father 
to for my support and maintenance in a style of life, very 
different from that in which I was found ; this expense I 
bad the consolation of being enabled to replace to my father 
upon the receipt of my wife's fortune ; but by this act of 
justice and duty so gratifying to my conscience the balance 
upon 30001. which was the portion allotted to Miss Ridge, 
was very inconsiderable when it reached me. I had already 
three children, and the prospect of an increasing family ; 
my ftither's bishopiuc was not likely to benefit me, neither 
could it be considered as a compensation for my services, 
inasmuch as the past exertions of his influence and popula- 
rity in Northamptonshire might fairly give him a claim to 
ti favour not less than that of appointing him second chaplain 
lo Doctor Oswald, who was a perfect stranger to his lordship, 
till introduced and recommended by his brother James. 
These considerations induced me to hope I could not be 
thought a very greedy or presumptuous expectant, when I 
ventured to solicit hini in competition v/ith a gentleman, who 
had only been in his immediate service as Master of Horse 
for one session in Ireland, and at the same time they served 
as motives with me for endeavouring to succeed that gen- 
tleman, v/hose office, if I could obtain it, would be an addi- 
tion to my income of two hundred per annum. The Earl of 
Jlillsborough was first Lord of Trade and Plantations, and 
being an intimate friend of Lord Halifax, was, I presumed, 
not indisposed towards me. I thereupon went to Bushy 
Park to vmit upon Lord Halifax, and communicated to him 
the idea, v/hich had occurred to me, of making suit for the 
office, that Mr. Scdgcwicke had vacated. He received this 
ialimation iu a manner that did not merely denote embaras'i- 


ment, it made it doiibtfu] to me whether he movant to take it 
up as matter of offence, or turn it off' as matter of indiffer- 
ence : for some time he seemed inclined to put an interpre- 
tation upon the measure proposed which certainly it could not 
bear,and to consider it as an abandonment on my part of a con- 
nexion, that had uninterruptedly subsisted for so many years. 
When a very few words on my part convinced him lliat this 
charge could not lie against me, he stated it in another view, 
as a degradation, v/hich he was surprised I could think of 
submitting to, after the situation I had stood in with respect 
to him : this was easily answered, and in term.s, that could 
not give offence ; thus v»^hilst I v/as guarding my expressions 
from any semblance of disgust, and his lordship v/as holding 
a language, that could not come from his heart, wx broke 
up the conference without any other decision, than of refer- 
ing it to my own choice and discretion, as a measure he 
neither advised nor opposed. 

As it was from this interview vrith the noble person, to 
v/hom 1 had attached myself for so longatermof yeai^, that 
. my future line in life took a new direction, I could not pass 
it over in silence ; but though my mind retains the memory 
of many particulars, which, if my own credit only v/as at 
stake, I should be forward to relate, I shall forbear ; con- 
vinced, that when I lost the favour and protection of that no- 
ble person^ I had not forfeited his real good opinion ; of this 
truth he survived to give, and I to receive, proofs, that could 
not be mistaken. I had known him too intimately not to 
know, in the very moment, of which I have been speaking, 
that what he was by accident, he was not by nature. I am 
persuaded he was formed to be a good man, he might also 
have been a great one : his mind was large, his spirit active, 
his ambition honourable : he had a carriage noble and impo- 
sing ; his first approach attracted notice, his consequent 
address ensured respect : if his talents were not quite so 
solid as some, nor altogether so deep as others, yet they 
were brilliant, popular, and made to glitter in the eyes of 
men : splendour was his passion ; his good fortune thrcv.^ 
opportunities in his way to have supported it ; his ill fortune 
blasted all those energies, which should have been reserved 
for the crisis of his public fame ; the first offices of the state, 
the highest honours which his sovereign could bestov/ v»'cre 
showered upon him, when the spring of his mind was bro- 
ken, and his genius, like a vessel overloaded with treasure^^ 


but far gone in decay, ^^?.s only precipitated to ruin by the 
very freight, that in its better days would have crowned it 
v.ith prosperity and riches. 

I noY/ addressed a letter to the Earl of Hiilsboroug;h, ten- 
dering my humble services in Mr. Sedgevvicke's room, and 
was accepted without hesitation. Thus I entered upon an 
office, the duties of v/hich consisted of taking minutes of the 
ilebates and proceedings of the Board, and preparing for 
their a])probation and signature such reports, as they should 
direct to be drawn up for his Majesty, or the Council, and, 
on some occasions, for the Board of Treasury^, or Secretaries 
of State. It was at mxost an office of no great labour, but as 
Mr. Pownall, now actual Secretary, was much in the habit 
of digesting these reports himself, my task was greatly light- 
ened, and I had leisure to address myself to other studies, 
and indulge my propensities towards composition in whatev- 
er way they might incline me to employ them. 

Bickerstaff having at this time brought out his operas of 
I.dve in a Village and TheMaid of the Mill with great success, 
some friends persuaded me to attempt a drama of that sort, 
and engaged Simpson, conductor of the band at Covent 
Garden and a performer on the hautboy, to compile the airs 
and adapt them to the stage. With very little knowledge 
of stage effect, and as little forethought about plot, incident, 
or character, I sate dovm to write, and soon produced a 
thing in three acts, which I named the Summer's Tale, 
though it was a tale about nothing and very inaifferently 
told ; however, being a vehicle for some songs, not despi- 
cably written, and some of these very well set, it was car- 
ried by my friends to Beard, then manager of the theatre, and 
accepted for representation. My friends, who were critics 
merely in music, took as little concern about revising the dra- 
ma, as I took pains hi writing it ; they brought me the music 
of old songs, and I adapted words to it, and w^ove them into the 
piece, as I could. I sav/, hovv ever, how very ill this plan was 
adapted for any credit, that could be expected to accrue to 
me from my share in it, and to mark how iittie conhdence I 
placed in the composition of the drama, I affixed as motto 
to the title page the following words — Fox, et praterca nihiL 
Abel furnished the overture, Bach, Doctor Arne and Ar- 
Hold supplied some original compositions ; Beard, Miss 
Brent, (then in high reputation) Mr. and Mrs. Mattocks 
and Shuter filled the principal characters. It was perform-* 



ednine or ten nights to moderate houses without opp05ition7 
and very deservedly Avithout much applause, except what 
the execution of the vocal performers, and some brilliant 
compositions justly obtained ; but even with these it was 
rather over-loaded, and was not sufficiently contrasted and 
I'elieved by familiar airs. 

The fund for the support of decayed actors being then re- 
cently established by the company of Co vent Garden thea- 
tre, I appropriated the receipts of my ninth night to that be- 
nevolent institution, which the conductors were pleased to 
receive with much good will, and have honoured me with 
their remembrance at their annual audits ever since. 

The Summer's Tale was published by Mr. Dodsley, and 
as I received no complaint from him on account of the sale, 
I hope that liberal pvirchaser of the copy had no particular 
reason to be discontented with his bargain. 

Bickerstaff, who had established himself in the public fa-^ 
vour by the success of his operas above-mentioned, seem,ed 
to consider me as an intruder upon his province, wdtli w^hom 
he was to keep no terms, and he set all engines of abuse ta 
work upon me and my poor drama, AvhiJst it Avas yet in re- 
hearsal, notrepressing his acrimony till it had been before 
the public ; when to have discussed it in the spirit of fair 
criticism might have afforded him full m?ttter of triumph, 
without convicting him of any previous malice or personality 
against an unoffending author. I was no sooner put in pos- 
session of the proofs against him, which wxre exceedingly 
gross, than I remonstrated by letter to him against his un- 
candid proceeding ; I have no copy of that letter ; I wish I 
had preserved it, as it would be in proof to show that my dis- 
position to live in harmony witli my contemporaries was, at 
my very outset as a writer lor the stage, what it has uniform- 
ly been to the present hour, and that, although this attack 
v/as one of the most virulent and unfidr ever made upon me,, 
yet I no otherwise appealed against it, than by tellmg him^ 
" That if his contempt of my performance w^as really what 
" he professed it to be, he had no need to fear me as a rival,. 
" and might relax from his intemperraice ; on tlie contrary, 
" if alarm forhisow'U interest had any share in tl^e motives 
" for his animosity, I was perfectly ready to purchase his. 
" peace of mind and good will by the sacrifice of those emol-- 
** urnents, which might eventually accrue from my niglits. iii 
^' Jiny such way as might relieve his anxiety, and coiiviai^^^ 


" him of my entire disinterestedness in commencing aii- 
*' thor ; adding in conclusion, theit he might assure himself 
" he would never hear of me again as a writer of operas." 
Tliis I can perfectly recollect was the purport of my letter, 
which I dictated in the belief of what was reported to me as 
an apology for his conduct, ajid entirely ascribed his hostili- 
ty to his alarm on the score of interest, and not to the evil 
temper of his mind. This was the interpretation I put upon 
what Mr. Bickerstaif had wiitten of me, and my real motive 
for what I wrote to him : I understood he was wholly de- 
pendant on the stage, and that the necessity of his circum- 
stances made him bitter against any one, who stept forward 
to divide the favour of the public with him. To insult his 
poverty, or presume on my advantage over him in respect 
of circumstances, was a thought that never found admission 
into my heart, nor did Bickerstaff himself so construe my 
letter, or suspect me of such baseness ; for Mr. Garrick af- 
terwards informed me that Bickerstaff shewed this letter to 
him as an appeal to his feelings of such a nature, as ought to 
put him to' silence ; and when IMr. Garrick represented to 
him, that he also saw it in that light, he did not scruple to 
confess that his attack had been unfliir, and that he should 
never repeat it against me or my productions. I led him 
into no further temptations, for whilst he continued to sup- 
ply the stage with musical pieces, I turned my thoughts to 
dramas of another cast, and we interfered no longer with 
each other's labours. 

One day as I was leaving the theatre after a rehearsal of 
the Summer's Tale, I was met by Mr. Smith, then engaged 
at Covent Garden, and whom I had known at the Univer- 
sity, as an Under-graduate of Saint John's College. We 
iiad of course some conversation, during v/hich he had the 
kindi>ess to remonstrate with me upon the business I was 
engaged in^ politely saying, that I ought to turn my talents 
to compositions of a more independent and a higher charac- 
ter ; predicting to me, that I should reap neither fame nor 
satisfaction in the operatic department, and demanding of 
me, in a tone of encouragement, why I would not rather aim 
at writmg a good comedy, than dabbling in these sing-song 
pieces. The animating spirit of this friendly remonstrance, 
and the full persuasion that he predicted truly of the charac- 
ter arid consequences of my undertaking then on foot, made 
a sensible impression on my mind, and mthe warmth of the 


moment I formed my resolution to attempt the arduous pro- 
ject he had pomted out If my old frieud and contemporary 
ever reads this page, perhaps he can call to mind the conver-' 
sation I allude to ; though he has not the same reasons to 
keep in his remembrance this circumstance, as I have, who 
was the party favoured and obliged, yet I hope he will at all 
events believe that I record it truly as to the fact, and grate- 
fully for the effects of it. As his friend, I have lived with 
him, and shared his gentlemanly hospitality ; as his author, 
I have witnessed his abilities, and profited by his support ; 
and though I have lost sight of him ever since his retirement 
from the stage, yet I have ever retained at heart an interest 
in his welfare, and as he and I are too nearly of an age to 
flatter ourselves, that we have any very long continuance to 
come upon the stage of this life, I beg leave to make this 
public profession of my sincere regard for him, and to pay 
the tribute of my plaudits now, before he makes his final 
exit and the curtain drops. 

Before I had ushered my melodious nonsense to the audi- 
ence, I had clearly discovered the w^eakness of the tame and 
lifeless fable on which I had founded it ; there were still 
some scenes between the characters of Henry and Amelia, 
which were tolerably conceived, and had preserved them- 
selves a place in the good opinion of the audience by the 
simplicity of the style, and the address of Mrs. Mattocks and 
Mr. Dyer, to whom those parts wxre allotted. It was there- 
upon thought adviseable to cut dow^n the Summer's Tale to 
an after-piece of two acts, and exhibit it in the next season 
under the title of Amelia. In this state it stood its groundjand 
took its turn with very tolerable success " behind the fore- 
" most and before the last." Simpson published the music 
in a collection, and I believe he got home pretty well upon 
the sale of it. The good judges of that time thought it good 
music, but the better judges of this time would probably 
think it good for nothing-. 

In the summer of this year, as soon as the Board of Trade 
broke up for tiieir usual recess, I went witii my wife and 
part of my young family to pay my duty and fullil my pro- 
mise to my father and motI>er in Ireland. They v/c.ited for 
us in Dublin, where my father had taken the late Bisliop of 
Meath's house in Kildare-Street, next door o the Duke of 
Leinster's. When we had reposed ourselves for a few days, 
after the fatigues of a turbulent passage, we ?J1 set off for 


Clonfert in the county of Galway. Every body, who ha^ 
travelled in Ireland, and witnessed the wretched accommo- 
dations of the hi ns, particularly in the west, knows that it 
requires some forecast and preparation ^o conduct a large 
family on their journey. It certiunly is as different from tra- 
velling in England as possible, and not much unlike travel- 
ling in Spain ; but with my father for our provider, whose 
appointments of servants & equipage were ever excellent, we 
eould feel few wants, and arrived in good time at our jour^ 
ney's end, where upon the banks of the great river Shannon, 
in a nook of land, on all sides, save one, surrounded by an 
impassable bog, we found the episcopal residence, by cour- 
tesy called palace, and the churchof Clonfert, by custom cal- 
led cathedral. This humble residence was not devoid of 
comfort and convenience, for it contained some tolerable 
lodging rooms, and was capacious enough to receive me and 
mine without straitening the family. A garden of seven 
acres, well planted and disposed into pleasant walks, kept in 
the neatest order, was attached to the house, and at the ex- 
tremity of a broad gravel walk in front stood the cathedraL 
Within this boundary the scene was cheerful ; all without 
it was either impenetrable bog, or a dreary undressed coun- 
try ; but whilst all was harmony, hospitctlity and affection 
underneath the parental roof, ^^ the mind was its own place," 
and every hour was happy. My father lived, as he had ever 
done, beloved by all around him ; the same benevolent and 
generous spirit, which had endeared him to his neighbours 
and parishioners in England,now began to make the like im- 
pressions on the hearts of a people as far different in charac- 
ter, as they were distant in place, from those, whom he had 
till now been concerned with. Without descending fron^ 
the dignity he had to support, and condescending to any of 
the paltry modes of courting popularity, I instantly perceiv- 
ed how high he stood in their esteem ; these observations I 
was perfectly in the way to make, for I had no forms to keep, 
and was withal uncommonly delighted with their wild eccen- 
tric humours, mixing with all ranks and descriptions of men, 
to my infinite amusement. If I have been successful in my 
dramatic sketches of the Irish character, it was here I studied 
it in its purest and most primitive state : from high to low it 
was no v/ under my view. Though I strove to present it in its 
fairest and best light upon the stage, truth obliges me to 
confess there Y/as aBother side of the picture, which c.Qul4.j 


not have been contemplated w ithout affright and horror 1 
Attrocides and violences, which set all law and justice at 
deiiance, were occasionally committed in this savage and 
licentious quarter, and suffered to pass over with impunity. 
In the neighbouring town of Eyre Court, they had by long 
usage assumed to themselves certain local and self-consti- 
tuted privileges and exemptions, which rendered it unap- 
proachable by any officers or emissaries of the civil power, 
who were universally denounced as mad dogs, and subjected 
to be treated as such, and even put to death with as little 
ceremony or remorse. I speak of what actually occurred 
within my own immediate knowledge, whilst I resided with 
my father, in more instances than one, and those instances 
would be shocking to relate. To stem these daring outra- 
ii;es, and to stand in opposition to these barbarous customs, 
was an undertaking, that demanded both Phiianthrophy and 
courage, and my father of course was the very man to at- 
tempt it. Justice and generosity were the instruments he 
employed, and I saw the work of reformation so auspicious- 
ly begun, and so steadily pursued by him, as convinced me 
that minds the most degenerate may be to a degree reclaim- 
ed by actions, that come home to their feelings, and are evi- 
dently directed to the sole purposes of amending their man- 
ners, and improving their condition. To suppose they were a 
race of bemgs stupidly vicious, devoid of sensibility, and de- 
livered over by their natural inertness to barbarism and ig- 
norance, would be the very falsest character that could be 
conceived of them : it is on the contrary to the quickness 
of their apprehensive faculties, to the precipitancy and un- 
restrained vivacity of their talents and passions, that we must 
look for the causes, and in some degree for the excuse of 
their excesses : together with their ferocious propensities 
there are blended and compoundtid humours so truly comic, 
eccentricities so peculiar, and attachments and affections at 
times so inconceivably ardent that it is not possible to con- 
jtempiate them in their natural characters without being di- 
verted by extravagancies, which we cannot seriously ap- 
prove, and captivated by professions, which we cannot im- 
plicitly give credit to. 

The bishop held a considerable parcel of land, arable and 
grazing in his hands, or more properly speaking in the 
phrase of the country, a large demesne, with a numerous 
tribe of labourers, gardeners, turf-cutters, herdsmen and 


handicraft-men of various denominations. Kis first object, 
and that not an easy one to attain, was to induce them to pur- 
sue the same methods of husbandry as were practised in 
England, and to observe the same neat and cleanly course 
of cultivation. This was a great point gdned ; they began 
it with unwillingness, and watched it with suspicion ; their 
idle neighbours, who were without employ, ridiculed the 
work, and predicted that their hay stacks would take fire, 
and their corn be rendered ui\fit for use ; but in the further 
course of time, when they experienced the advantages of 
this process, and witnessed the striking contrast of these 
productive lands, compared with the slovenly grounds a- 
round them, they began to acknowledge their own errors 
and to reform them. With these operations the improve- 
ments of their own habitatiohs were contrived to keep pace ; 
their cabins soon wore a more comfortable and decent ap- 
pearance ; they furnished them v/ith chimneys, and emer- 
ged out of the smoke, in which they had hurried and suffo- 
cated their families and themselves. When these old habits 
were corrected v\dthin doors, on the outside of every one of 
them there was to be seen a stack of hay, m.ade in the Eng- 
lish fashion, thatched and secured from the weather, and a 
lot of potatoes carefully planted and kept clean, which, with 
a suitable proportion of turf, secured the year's provision 
both for man and beast. When these comforts were placed 
in their view, they were easily led to turn tlieir attention to 
the better appearance of their person, and this reform v/as 
not a little furthered by the premium of a Sunday's dinner to 
all, who should present themselves in clean linen and with 
well-combed hair, without the customary addition of a scare- 
crow wig, so that the sv/arthy Milesion no longer appeared 
with SI yellow vvig upon his coal-black hair, nor the yellow 
Dane with a coal-black wig upon his long red locks : the old 
barbarous custom also of working in a great coat loosely 
thrown over the shoulders, with the sleeves dangling by 
the sides, was now dismissed, and the bishop's labourers 
turned into the field, stript to their shirts, proud to shew 
themselves in whole linen, so that in them vanity oper- 
ated as a virtue, and piqued them to excel in industry, 
as much as they did in appearance. As for me, I was 
so delighted with contemplating a kind of new creation, of 
which my father was the author, that I devoted the great- 
est portion of my time to his works, and had full powers ta 


prosecute his good intentions to whatever extent I might 
lind opportunities for carrying them. This commission 
was to me most gratifying, nor have any hours in my past 
life been more truly satisfactory, than those in which I was 
thus occupied as the administrator of his unbounded bene- 
volence to his dependant fellow creatures. My father being 
one of the governors of the Linen Board, availed himself 
also of the opportunity for introducing a branch of that valu- 
able manufacture in his neighbourhood, and a great number 
of spinning-wheels were distributed, and much good linen 
made in consequence of that measure. The superin tend- 
ance of this improving manufacture furnished an interesting 
occupation to my mother's active mind, and it flourished un- 
der her care. 

In the month of October my father removed his family to 
Dublin, and from thence I returned to resume my official 
duty at the Board of Trade. In the course of this winter I 
brought out my first comedy, entitled The Brothers^ at Co- 
vent-Garden theatre, then under the direction of Mr. Harris 
and his associates, joint proprietors with him. I had WTit- 
ten this play, after my desultory manner, at such short pe- 
riods of time and leisure, as I could snatch from business or 
the society of my family, and sometimes even in the midst 
of both, for I could then form whole scenes in my memory, 
and afterwards write them down when opportunity afforded ; 
neither was it any interruption, if my children were playing 
about ine in the room. I believe I was indebted to Mr. 
Harris singly for the kind reception, which this offer met ; 
for if I rightly remember what passed on that occasion, my 
Brothers were not equally acceptable to his brethren as to 
him. He took it however with all its responsibility, sup- 
ported it and cast it with the best strength of his company. 
Woodward in the part of Ironsides, and Yates in that of Sir 
Benjamin Dove, were actors, that could keep their scene 
alive, if any life was in it : Quick, then a young performer, 
took the part of Skiff, and my friend Smith, who had prompt- 
ed me to the undertaking, was the young man of the piece ; 
Mrs. Green performed Lady Dove, and ilrs. Yates was the 
heroine Sophia. 

The play was successful, and I believe I may say that it 
brought some advantage to the theatre as well as some re- 
putation to its author. It has been much played on the pro- 
vincial stagesj and occasionally revived on the royal ones. — 

132 MEMOIIIS or 

There are stiR such excellent successors in the line of Yates 
and Woodward to be found in both theatres, that perhaps it 
would not even now be a loss of labour, if they took it up 
afresh. I recollect that I borrowed the hint of Sir Benja- 
min's assumed valour upon being forced into a rencounter, 
from one of the old comedies, and if I conjecture rightly, it 
is The Little French Lawyer. It may be said of this comedy 
as it may of most, it has some merits and some faults ; it has 
its scenes that tell, and its scenes that tire ; a start of charac- 
ter, such as that of the tame Sir Benjamin, is always a strik- 
ing incident in the construction of a drama, ajid when a re- 
volution of that sort can be brought about without violence 
to nature, and for purposes essential to the plot, it is a point 
of art well worthy the attention and study of a writer for the 
stage. The comedy oiRule a Wife and have a Wlfe^ and par- 
ticularly that of Massinger'sOVt/ Madam^ are strong instances 
in point. It is to be wished that some man of experience in 
stage effect would adapt the latter of these comedies to re- 

Garrick was in the house at the first night of the Brothers, 
and as I was planted in the back seat of an upper box, oppo- 
site to where he sa.te, I could not but remark his action of 
surprise when Mrs. Yates opened the epilogue with the fol- 
lowing lines — 

" Who but hath seen the celebrated strife, 
" Where Reynolds calls the canvass into life, 
" And 'twixt the tragic and the comic muse, 
" Courted of both, and dubious where to chuse, 
" Th' immortal actor stands — ? 
My friend Fitzherbert, father of Lord St. Helen, was 
then wit4i Garrick, and came from his box to me across 
the house to tell me, that the immortal actor had been taken 
by surprise, but was not displeased with the unexpected 
compliment from an author, with whom he had supposed 
he did not stand upon the best terms : alluding no doubt 
to his transaction with Lord Halifax respecting the Banish- 
ment of Cicero. From this time Mr. Garrick took pains 
to cultivate an acquaintance, w^hich he had hitherto ne- 
glected, and after Mr. Fitzherbert had brought us toge- 
ther at his house we interchanged visits, and it is no- 
thing m.ore than natural to confess I was charmed with 
his company and flattered by his attentions. I had a house 
in Queen-Anne-Street, and he then lived in Southampton- 


Street Covent Garden, where I frequently went to him ;jnd 
sometimes accompanied him to his pleasant villa at Hamp- 
ton. In the mean time, whilst I was thus fortunate in con- 
ciliating to myself one eminent person by my epilogue, I 
soon discovered to my regret how many I had offended by 
my prologue. A host of newspaper-writers fell upon me for 
the pertness and general satire of that incautious composi- 
tion, and I found myself assailed from various quarters 
with unmitigated acrimony. I made no defence, and the 
only one I had to make would hardly have brought me off, 
for I could have opposed nothing to their charge against me, 
but the simple and sincere assertion that I alluded personally 
to no man, and being little versed in the mock-modesty of 
modern addresses to the audience, took the old style of pro- 
logue for my model, and put a bold countenance upon a bold 
adventure. Numerous examples were before me of pro- 
logues arrogant in the extreme ; Johnson abounds in such 
instances, but I did not advert sufficiently to the change, 
which time had wrought in the circumstances of the drama- 
tic poet, and how much it behoved him to lower his tone in 
the hearing of his audience : neither did Smith, who was 
speaker of the prologue, and an experienced actor, warn me 
of any danger in the lines he undertook to deliver. In short, 
mine was the error of inexperience, and their efforts to re- 
buff me only gave a fresh spring to my exertions, for I can 
truly say, that, although I have been annoyed by detraction, 
it never had the property of depressing me. I was silly 
enough to send this comedy into the world with a dedication 
to the Duke of Grafton, a man with whom I had not the 
slightest acquaintance, nor did I seek to establish any upon 
the merit of this address : he was Chancellor of the Univer- 
sity at Cambridge, and this was my sole motive for inscrib- 
ing my first comedy to him. As for the play itself, whilst 
the prologue and the prologue's author run the gauntlet, that 
kept possession of the stage, and Woodward and Yates lost 
no credit by the support they gave it. 

I will not trouble the reader Vv'ith many apologies or ap- 
peals, yet just now whilst I am beginnineto introduce a long 
list of dramas,such as I presume no English author has equal- 
led m /20m? of number^ I would fain intercede for a candid in- 
terpretation of my labours, and recomm.end my memory to 
posterity for protection after death from tiiose unhandsojiie 
cavils, vrhich I have patiently endured wlxilst living. 


I am not to learn that dramatic authors are to arm them- 
selves with fortitude before they take a post so open to at- 
tack ; they, who are to act in the public eye, and speak in 
the public ear, have no right to expect a very smooth and 
peaceful career. I have had my full share of success, and I 
trust I have paid my tax for it always without mutiny, and 
very generally without murmuring. I have never irritated 
the toAvn by making a sturdy stand against their opposition, 
^vhen they have been pleased to point it against any one of 
my productions : I never failed to withdraw myself oii the 
very first intimation that I was unwelcome, and the only of- 
fence I have been guilty of is, that I have not always thought 
the worse of a composition only because the public did not 
think well of it. I solemnly protest that I have never writ- 
ten, or caused to be written, a single line to puff and praise 
myself^ or to decry a brother dramatist, since I had life ; of 
all such anonymous and mean manoeuvres I am clearly in- 
nocent and proudly disdainful ; I have stood firm for the 
corps, into which I enrolled myself, and never disgraced 
my colours by abandoning the cause of the legitimate comedy^ 
to whose service I am sworn, and in whose defence I have 
kept the field for nearly half a century, till at last I have sur- 
vived all true national taste, and lived to see buffoonery, 
spectacle, and puerility so effectually triumphant, that now 
to be repulsed from the stage is to be recommended to the 
closet, and to be applauded by the theatre is little else than 
a passport to the puppet-show. I only say what every body 
knows to be true : I do not write from personal motives, for 
I have no more cause for complaint than is common to many 
of my brethren of the corps. It is not my single misfor- 
tur.e to have been accused of vanity, which I did not feel, 
of satires, which I did not write, and of invectives, which I 
disciained even to meditate. It stands recorded of me in a 
review to this hour, that on the first night of The School for 
Scandal I was overheard in the lobby endeavouring to decry 
and cavil at that excellent comedy : I gave my accuser proof 
positive that 1 v/as at Bath during the time of its first run, 
never saw it during its first season, and exhibited my pocket- 
journal in confirmation of my alibi : the gentleman was con- 
vinced of my innocence, but as he had no opportunity of 
correcting his libel, every body that read it remains convinc- 
ed of my guilt. Now as none, who ever heard my name, 
will fiil to Suppose I must have said what is imputed to me 


in bitterness of heart, not from defect in head, this false as- 
persion of my character was cruel and injurious in the ex- 
treme. I hold it right to explain that the reviewer I am 
speaking of has been long since dead. 

In the ensuing year I again p:ud a visit to my father at 
Clonfert, and there in a little closet at the back of the palace, 
as it was called, unfurnished and out of use, with no other 
prospect from my single windov/ but that of a turi-stacii. 
with which it was almost in contact, I seated myself by choice, 
and began to plan and compose The West Indicm. 

As the writer for the stage is a writer to the passions, I 
hold it matter of conscience and duty in the dramatic poet to 
reserve his brightest colouring for the best characters, to 
give no false attractions to vice and immor]|b.lity, but to en- 
deavour, as far as is consistent with that contrast, v/hich is 
the very essence of his art, to turn the fairer side of human 
nature to the public, and, as much as in him lies, to contrive 
so as to put men in good humour vvith one another. Let him 
therefore in the first place strive to make worthy characterr-; 
amiable, but take great care not to make them insipid ; if 
he does not put life and spirit into his man or v/oman of vir- 
tue, render them entertaining as well as good, their morality 
is not a whit more attractive than the morality of a Greek 
chorus. He had better have let them alone altogether. 

Congreve, Farquhar, and some others have made vice and 
villany so playful and amusing, that either they could not 
find in their hearts to punish them, or not caring how wick- 
ed they were, so long as they were witty, paid no attention 
to what became of them : Shadwell's comedy is little bet- 
ter than a brothel. Poetical justice which has armed the 
tragic poet with the weapons of death, and commissioned 
him to wash out the offence in the blood of the offender, ha-s 
not left the comic writer without his instruments of venge- 
ance ; for surely, if he knows how to employ the authority 
that is in him, the scourge of ridicule alone is sharp enough 
for the chastisement of any crimes, which can fall within his 
province to exhibit. A true poet knows that unless he can 
produce w^orks, whose fame will outlive him, he will outlive 
both his works and his fame : therefore every comic author 
who takes the mere clack of the day for his subject, and aban- 
dons all his claim upon posterity, is no true poet ; if he dab- 
bles in personalities, he does considerably worse. When I 
began therefore, as at this time, to write for the stage, my 


ambition was to aim at writing something that might be last- 
ing and outlive me ; when temporary subjects were sug- 
gested to me, I declined them : I formed to myself in idea 
what I conceived to be the character of a legitimate come- 
dy, and that alone was my object, and though I did not quite 
aspire to attain, I was not altogether in despair of approach- 
ing it. I perceived that I had fallen upon a time, when great 
eccentricity of character was pretty nearly gone by, but still 
I fancied there was an opening for some originality, and an 
opportunity for shewing at least my good will to mankind, 
if I introduced the characters of persons, who had been usu- 
ally exhibited on the stage, as the butts for ridicule and abuse, 
:md endeavoured to present them in such lights, as might 
lend to reconcile the world to them, and them to the world. 
I thereupon looked into society for the purpose of discover- 
hig such as wxre the victims of its national, professional or 
religious prejudices ; in short for those suffering characters, 
uhich stood in need of an advocate, and out of these I medi- 
tated to select and form heroes for my future dramas, of 
which I would study to make such favourable and reconci- 
liatory delineations, as might incline the spectators to look 
upon them v.ith pity, and receive them into their good opi- 
nion and esteem. 

With this project in my mind, and nothing but the turf- 
stack to call off my attention, I took the characters of an 
Irishman and a West Indian for the heroes of my plot, and 
began to work it out into the shape of a comedy. To the 
West Indian I devoted a generous spirit, and a vivacious 
giddy dissipation ; I resolved he should love pleasure much, 
but honour more ; but as I could not keep consistency of cha- 
racter without a mixture of failings, when I gave him charity, 
I gave him that which can cover a multitude, and thus pro- 
tected, thus recommended, I thought I might send him out 
iiito the vv^orld to shift for himself. 

For my Irishman I had a scheme rather more complicat- 
ed ; I put him into the Austrian service, and exhibited him 
in the livery of a foreign master, to impress upon the audi- 
ence the melancholy and impolitic alternative, to v/hich his 
religious disqualification had reduced a gallant and a loyal 
subject of his natural king : I gave him courage, for it be- 
longs to his nation ; I endowed him with honour, for it belongs 
to his profession, and I made him proud, jealous, suscepti- 
ble, for Huch the exiled veteran will be, who lives by t^e 


earnings of his sword, and is not allowed to draw it in the 
service of that country, which gave him birth, and which of 
course he was born to defend : for his phraseology I had the 
glossary ready at my hand ; for his mistakes and trips, vul- 
garly called bulls, I did not know the Irishman of the stage 
then existing, v/nom I would wish to make my model : their 
gross absurdities, and unnatural contrarieties have not a shade 
of character in them. When his imagination is warmed, and 
his ideas rush upon him in a cluster, 'tis then the Irishman 
will sometimes blunder ; his fancy having supplied more 
words than his tongue can well dispose of, it will occasion- 
ally trip. But the imitation mvist be delicately conducted ; 
his meaning is clear, he conceives rightly, though in delivery 
he is confused ; and the art, as I conceive it, of finding lan- 
guage, for the Irish character on the stage consists, not in 
making him foolish, vulgar, or absurd, but on the contrary, 
whilst you furnish him with expressions, that excite laugh- 
ter, you must graft them upon sentiments, that deserve ap- 

In all my hours of study it has been through life my object 
so to locate myself as to have little or nothing to distract my 
attention, and therefore brilliant rooms or pleasant prospects 
I have ever avoided. A dead wall, or, as is the pixsent 
case, an Irish turf-stack, are not attractions, that can call 
off the fancy from its pursuits ; and whilst in those pursuits 
it can find interest and occupation, it wants no outward aids 
to cheer it. My mother, who had a fellow-feeling with me 
in these sensations, used occasionally to visit me in this 
hiding hole, and animated me with her remarks upon the 
progress of my work : my fatlier was rather inclined to 
apologize for the meanness of my accommodation, and I 
believe rather wondered at my choice : in the mean time 
I had none of those incessant avocations, which forever 
crossed me in the writing of The Brothers. I was master 
of my time, my mind was free, and I was happy in the so- 
ciety of the dearest friends I had on earth. In parents, sis- 
ter, wife and children, greater blessings no man could en- 
joy-^^ The calls of office, the cavillings of angry rivals, and 
the jibings of newspaper critics could not reach me on the 
banks of the Shannon, where all within doors Avas love and 
affection, all without was gratitude and kindness devolved 
ou me through the merits of my father. In no other period 

M 2 


of my life have the same happy circumstances combined to 
cheer me in any of my literary labours. 

During an excursion of a few days upon a visit to Mr. 
Talbot of Mount Talbot, a very respectable and worthy gen- 
tleman in these parts, I found a kind of hermitage in his 
pleasure grounds, where I wrote some few scenes, and my 
amiable host was afterwards pleased to honour the author of 
the West Indian, v/ith an inscription, affixed to that build- 
ing, commemorating the use, that had been made of it ; 
a piece of elegant flattery very elegantly expressed. 

On this Adsit to Mr. Talbot I was accompanied by Lord 
Eyre of Eyre Couii:, a near neighbour and friend of my 
father. This noble Lord, though pretty far advanced in 
years, was so correctly indigenous, as never to have been 
out of Ireland in his life, and not often so far from Eyre 
Court as in this tower to Mr. Talbot's. Proprietor of a vast 
extent of soil, not very productive, and inhabiting a spa- 
cious mansion, not in the best repair, he lived according to 
the style of the country with more hospitality than elegance : 
whilst his table groaned with abundance, the order and good 
taste of its arrangement were little thought of: the slaugh- 
tered ox was himg up whole, and the hungry servitor sup- 
plied himself vvith his dole of flesh, sliced from off the car- 
case. His lordship's day was so apportioned as to give the 
afternoon by much the largest share of it, during which, 
from an early dinner to the hour of rest, he never left his 
chair, nor did the claret ever quit the table. This did not 
produce inebriety, for it was sipping rather than drinking, 
that filled up the time, and this mechanical process of grad- 
ually moistening the human clay was carried on with very 
little aid from conversation, for his lordsliip's companions 
•were not very communicative, and fortunately he was not 
very cuiious. He lived in an enviable independence as to 
reading, and of course he had no books. Not one of the 
•windows of his castle was made to open, but luckily he had no 
liking to fresh air, and the consequence may be better con- 
ceived than described- 

He had a large and handsome pleasure boat on the Shan- 
Tion, and men to row it ; I was of two or three parties with 
him on that noble water as far as to Pertumna, the then de- 
serted castle of the Lord Clanrickarde. Upon one of these 
excursions we were hailed by a person from the bank, who 
somewhat rudely called us to take liim over to the other side. 


The company in the boat making; no reply, I inadvenently 
called out — ^" Aye, aye, Sir ! stay there till we come."— ^Im- 
mediately I heard a murmur in the company, and Lord Eyre 
said to me — " You'll hear from that gentleman again, or I 
" am mistaken. You don't know perhaps that you have 
" been answering one of the most irritable men alive, and 
" the likeliest to interpret what you have sidd as an affront," 
He predicted truly, for the very next morninj^ tb'e gentle- 
man rode over to Lord Eyre, and demanded of him to give 
up my name. This his lordship did, but informed him 
withal that I was a stranger in the country, the son of Bishop 
Cumberland at Clonfert, where I might be found, if he had 
any commands forme. He instantly replied, that he should 
have received it as an affront from any other man, but Bishop 
Cumberland's was a character he respected, and no son of 
his could be guilty of an intention to insult him. Thus this 
valliant gentleman permitted me to live, and only helped me 
to another feature in my sketch of Major O 'Flaherty. 

A short time after this, Lord Eyre, who had a great pas- 
sion for cock-fighting, and whose cocks were the crack of all 
Ireland, engaged me in a main at Eyre Court. I was a 
perfect novice in that elegant sport, but the gentlemen from 
all parts sent me in their contributions, and having a good 
feeder I won every battle in the main but one. At this 
meeting I fell in wdth my hero from the Shannon bank. 
Both parties dined together, but when I found that mine, 
which w'as the more numerous and infinitely the most ob- 
streperous and disposed to quarrel, could no longer be left 
in peace with our antagonists, I quitted my seat by Lord Eyre 
and went to the gentleman above alluded to, who was pre- 
siding at the second table, and seating myself familiarly on 
the arm of his chair, proposed to him to adjourn our party, 
and assemble them in another house, for the sake of harmony 
and good fellov\-ship. With the best grace in life he instant- 
ly assented, and when I added that I should put them under 
his care, and expect from him as a man of honour and my 
friend, that every mother's son of them should be found forth- 
coming and alive ti e next morning — " Tlien by the soul of 
" me, ne replied, and they shall ; provided only that no man 
" in company shall dare to give the glorious and immortal me- 
" raorij for his toast, which no gentleman, who feels as I do, 
" will put up with." To this I pledged myself, and we re- 
moved to a whiskey house, attended by half a score pipers. 


playing different tunes. Here we went on very joyously 
and lovingly for a time, till a well-dressed gentleman enter- 
ed the room, and civilly accosting me, requested to partake 
of our festi\dty, and join the company, if nobody had an 
objection — " Ah now, don't be too sure of that," a voice was 
instantly heard to reply, " I believe you will find plenty of 
" objection in this company to your being one amongst us." 
What had he done the gentleman demanded — " What have 
<* you done," rejoined the first speaker, " Don't I know you 
** for the miscreant, that ravished the poor wench against 
" her will, in presence of her mother ? And did'nt your Pa- 
•^ gans, that held her down, ravish the mother afterwards, in 
" presence of her daughter ? And do you think we will ad- 
" mit you into our company ? Make yourself sure that we 
" shall not ; therefore get out of this as speedily as you can, 
" and away wid you !" Upon this the whole company rose, 
and in their rising the civil gentleman made his exit and was 
off. I relate this incident exactly as it happened, suppress*- 
ing the name of the gentleman, who w^as a man of property 
and some consequence. When my surprise had subsided, 
and the punch began to circulate with a rapidity the greater 
for this gentleman's having troubled the waters, I took my 
departure, having first cautioned a friend, who sate by m§, 
(and the only protestant in the company,) to keep his head 
cool, and beware of the glorious memory ; this gallant young 
officer, son to a man, who held lands of my father, promised 
faithfully to be sober and discreet, as well knowing the com- 
pany he was in ; but my friend having forgot the first part 
of his promise, and getting very tipsy, let the second part 
slip out of his memory, and became very mad ; for stepping 
aside for his pistols, he re-entered the room, and laying 
them on the table, took the cockade from his hat, and dash- 
ed it into the punch -bowl, demanding of the company to 
drink the glorious and immortal w.emory of King William in a 
bumper, or abide the consequences. I was not there, and if 
I had been present I could neither have stayed the tumult 
nor described it. I only know he turned out the next morn- 
ing merely for honour's sake, but as it was one against a 
host, the magnanimity of his opponents let him off with a 
shot or two, that did no execution. I returned to the peace- 
ful family 2X Clonfert, and fought no more cocks. 

The fairies were extremely prevalent at Clonfert : vi- 
sions of burials attended by long processions of mourners 


were seen to circle the church -yard by night, and there 
was no lack of oaths and attestations to enforce the truth of 
it. My mother sufTered a loss by them of a large brood of 
fine turkies who were every one burnt to ashes, bones and 
feathers, and their dust scattered in the air by their provi- 
dent nurse and feeder to appease those mischievous little 
beings, and prevent worse consequences ; the good dame 
credited herself very highly for this act of atonement, but 
my mother did not see it quite in so meritorious a light. 

A few days after as my father and I were riding in the 
grounds v/e crossed upon the Catholic priest of the parish. 
iVIy father began a conversation with him, and expressed a 
wish that he would caution his flock against this idle super- 
stition of the faries : the good man assured the bishop that 
in the first place he could not do it if he would ; and in the 
next place confessed that he was himself far from being an 
unbeliever in their existence. My father thereupon turned 
the subject, and observed to him with concern, that his steed 
was a very sorry one, and in very wretched condition.— 
" Truly, my good lord," he replied, "the beast himself is 
'' but an ugly garron, and whereby I have no provender to 
" spare him, mightily out of heart, as I may tiTily say : but 
" your lordship must think a poor priest like me has a 
" mighty deal of work and very little pay — " " Why 
" then, brother," said my good father, whilst benevolence 
beamed in his countenance, " 'tis fit that I who have the ad- 
" vantage of you in both respects, should mount you on a 
" better horse, and furnish you with provender to maintain 
" him-—." This parley with the priest passed in the very^ 
hay -field, where the bishop's people were at work ; orders 
were instantly given for a stack of hay to be made at the 
priest's cabin, and in a few days after a steady horse was 
purchased and presented to him. Surely they could not be 
true born Irish faries, that would spite my father, or event 
his turkies, after this. 

Amongst the labourers in my father's garden there wei*e' 
three brothers of the name of O'Rourke, regularly descend- 
ed from the kings of Connaught, if they were exactly to be 
credited for the correctness of their genealogy. There was 
also an elderbrother of these, Thomas O'Rourke, who filled 
the superior station of hind, or headman ; it was his wife 
that burnt the bewitched turkies, whilst Tom burnt his wig 
fcr joy of my victory at the coGk-inatcii, and threw a proper 


parcel of oatmeal into the air as a votive offering for my glo- 
rious success. One of the younger brothers was upon crut- 
ches in consequence of a contusion on his hip, which he lite- 
rally acquired as follows : — When my father came down to 
Clonfeit from Dublin, it was announced to him that the 
bishop was arrived : the poor tellow was then in the act of 
lopping a tree in the garden ; transported at the tidings, he 
exclaimed — " Is my lord come ? Then I'll throw myself out 
" of this same tree for joy — ." He exactly fulfilled his 
word, and laid himself up for some months. 

¥/hen I accompanied my mother from Clonfert to Dub- 
lin, my father having gone before, we passed the night at 
Killbeggan, where Sir Thomas Cuffe, (knighted in a frolic 
by Lord Townshend) kept the inn. A certain Mr. Geoghe- 
gan was extremely drunk, noisy, and brutally troublesome 
to lady Cuffe the hostess : Thomas O'Rourke was with us, 
and being much scandalized with the behaviour of Geoghe- 
gan, took me aside, and in a whisper said — " Squire, will I 
" quiet this same Mr. Geoghegan?" When I replied by 
all. means, but hov/ was it to be done ? — .Tom produced a 
knife of formidable length and demanded — " Haven't I got 
" this ? And won't this do the job, and hasn't he wounded 
" the woman of the inn with a chopping-knife, and what is 
" this but knife, and wou'dn't it be a good deed to put him 
" to death like a mad dog ? Therefore, Squire, do you see, 
^' if it will pleasure you and my lady there above stairs, who 
" is ill enough, God he knows, I'll put this knife into that 
" same Mr. Geoghegan's ribs, and be off the next moment 
" on the grey mare ; and is'nt she in the stable ? Therefore 
^* only say the word, and I'll doit." This was the true and 
exact proposal of Thomas O'Rourke, and as nearly as I can 
remember, I have stated in his very words. 

We arrived safe in Dublin, leaving Mr. Geoghegan to get 
sober at his leisure, and dismissing O'Rourke to his quarters 
at Clonfert. When we had passed a few days in Kildare- 
Street, I well remember the surprise it occasioned us one 
afternoon, when without any notice we saw a great gigantic 
dirty fellow walk into the room and march straight up to my 
father, for what purpose we could not devise. My mother 
uttered a scream, whilst my father with perfect composure - 
addressed him by the nam© of Stephen, demanding what he 
wanted with him, and what brouglit him to Dublin — " Nay, 
" my good lord," replied the man, " I have no other businesa 


" in Dublin itself but to take a bit of a walk up from Clonfcrt 
" to see your sweet face, long life to it, and to beg a blessing 
" upon me from your lordship ; that is all." So saying he 
flounced down on his knees, Sc in a most piteous kind of howl, 
closing his hands at the same time, cried out, " Pray, my lord, 
pray to God to bless Stephen Costello— ." The scene was 
sufficiently ludicrous to have spoiled the solemnity, yet my 
father kept his countenance, and gravely gave his blessing, 
saying as he laid his hands on his head—" God bless you, 
" Stephen Costello, and make you a good boy 1" The giant 
sung out a loud amen, and arose, declaring he should imme- 
diately set out and return to his home. He would accept no 
refreshment, but with many thanks and a thousand blessings 
in recompense for the one he had received walked out of 
the house, and I can well believe resumed his pilgrimage to 
the westward, without stop or stay. I should not have con- 
sidered this and the preceding anecdotes as worth recording, 
but that they are in some degree characteristic of a very 
curious and peculiar people, who are not often understood 
by those who profess to mimic them, and who are too apt to 
set them forth as objects for ridicule only, when oftentimes 
even their oddities, if candidly examined, would entitle them 
to our respect. 

I will here mention a very extraordinary honour, which 
the city of Dublin was pleased to confer upon my father in 
presenting him with his freedom in a gold box ; a form of 
such high respect as they had never before observed towards 
any person below the rank of their chief governor : I state 
this last-mentioned circumstanoe from authorities that ought 
not to be mistaken ; if the fact is otherwise, I have been 
misinformed, and the honour conferred upon tlie Bishop of 
Clonfert was not without a precedent. The motives assign- 
ed in the deed, which accompanied the box, are in general 
for the great respectability of his character, and in particu- 
lar for his disinterested protection of the Irish clergy. Un- 
der this head it was supposed they alluded to the benefice, 
which he had bestowxd upon a most deserving clergyman, 
his own particular friend and chaplain, the Reverend Dixie 
Blondel5 who happened also to be at that time chapkun to 
the Lord Mayor of Dublin. I have the box at this time in 
my possession. 

To the same merits, which influenced the city to bestow 
this distinguished honour on my father, I must ascribe that 


which I received from the University of Dublin, by the ho- 
norary grant of the degree of Doctor of Laws. Upon this I 
have only to observe that to be within the sphere of my 
father's good name, v/as to me at once a security against dan- 
ger and a recommendation to favom' and reward. 

When I returned to England I entered into an engage- 
ment with Mr. Garrick to bring out The West-Indian at his 
theatre. I had received fair and honorable treatment from 
Mr. Harris, and had not the slightest cause of complaint 
against him, his brother patentees or his actoro. I had how- 
ever no engagement with him, nor had he signified to me 
his wish or expectation of any such in future. If notwith- 
standing, the obligation was honourably such, as I was not 
free to depart from, in which light I am pretty sure he re- 
garded it, my conduct was no otherwise defensible than as it 
was not intentionally unfair. My acquaintance with Mr. 
Garrick had become intimacy between the acting of The 
Brothers and the acceptance of the West Indian. I resort- 
ed to him again and again with the manuscript of my com^e- 
dy ; I availed myself of his advice, of his remarks, and I was 
neither conscious of doing what was wrong in me to do, nor 
did any remonstrance ever reach me to apprise me of my 

I was not indeed quite a novice to the theatre, but I was 
clearly mnocent of knowing or believing myself bound by 
any rules or usage, that prevented me from offering my 
production to the one or the other at my ovra free option. 
I went to Mr. Garrick ; I found in him what my inexperi- 
ence stood in need of, an admirable judge of stage-effect ; 
at his suggestion I added the preparatory scene in the house 
of Stockwell, before the arrival of Belcour, where his bag- 
gage is brought in, and the domestics of the merchant are 
setting tilings in readiness for his coming. This insertion 
I made by his advice, and I punctually remember the very 
instant when he said to me in his chariot en our way to 
Hampton — " I want sonmething more to be announced of 
'• your West-Indian before you bring him on the stage to 
'' give eclat to his entrance, and rouse the curiosity of the' 
" audience ; that they may say — Aye, here he comes wit^ 
" all his colours flying." — When I asked how this was 1 
be done, and who was to do it, he considered awhile an| 
then' replied — " Why that is your look out, my friend, na 
" mine ; but if neither your merchasit nor his clerk can 


^^ it, why, why send in the servants, and let them talk a- 
" bout him. Never let me see a hero step iii^on the stage 
" without his trumpeters of some sort or other." Upon 
this conversation it was that I engrafted the scene above men- 
tioned, and this was in truth the only alteration of any con- 
sequence that the manuscript underwent in its passage lO 
the stage. 

After we came to Hampton, where that inimitable man 
■was to be seen in his highest state of animation, we began 
to debate upon the cast of the play. Barry was extremely 
desirous to play the part of the Irish Major, and Garrick 
was very doubtful how to decide, for Moody was then an 
actor little known and at alow salary. I took no part in the 
question, for I was entitled to no opinion, but I remember 
Garrick after long deliberation gave his decree for Moody 
with considerable repugnance, qualifying his preference to 
the latter with reasons, that in no respect reflected on the 
merits of Mr. Barry— «but he did not quite sec him in the 
whole part of OTlaherty ; there v/ere certain points of hu- 
mour, where he thought it likely he might fail, and in that 
case his failure, like his name, would be more conspicuous 
than Moody's. In short Moody v/ould take pains ; it might 
make him, it might mar the other ; so Moody had it, and 
succeeded to our utmost wishes. Mr. King, ever justly a 
favourite of the public, took the part of Belcour, and Mrs. 
Abingdon, with some few salvos on the score of condescen- 
tion, played Charlotte Rusport, and though she would not 
allow it to be any thing but a sketch, yet she made a charac- 
ter of it by her inimitable acting. 

The production of a new play was in those days an event 
of much greater attraction than from its frequency it is now 
become, so that the house Vv^as taken to the back rows of the 
front boxes for several nights in succession before that of 
its representation ; yet in this interval I offered to give its 
produce to Garrick for a picture, that hung over his chim- 
ney piece in Southampton-Street, and was only a copy from 
a Holy Family of Andrea del Sarto : he would have closed 
with me upon the bargain, but that the picture had been a 
present to him from Lord Baltimore. My expectations did 
not run very high vv^hen I made this ofier. 

A rumour had gone about, that the character, which gave 
its title to the comedy, was satirical ; of course the gentle- 
man who came under that description, went dov/n to th-e 


theatre in great strength, very naturally disposed to chas- 
tise the author for his malignity, and their phalanx was not 
a little formidable. Mrs. Cumberland and I sate with Mr. 
and Mrs, Garrick in their private box. When the pro- 
logue-speaker had gone the length of the four first lines the 
tumult v/as excessive, and the interruption held so long, 
that it seerned doubtful, if the prologue would be suffered 
to proceed. Garrick was much agitated ; he observed to 
nie that the appearance of the house, particularly in the pit, 
was more hostile than he had ever seen it. It so happened 
that I did not at that moment feel the danger which he seemed 
to apprehend, and remarked to him that the very first w^ord, 
wiiich discovered Belcour's character to be friendly, would 
turn the clamour for us, and so far I regarded the impetu- 
osity of the audience as a symtom in our favour. Whilst 
this was passing between us, order was loudly issued for the 
prologue to begin again, and in the delivery of a few lines 
more than they had already heard, they seemed reconciled 
to wait the developement of a chai^acter, from which they 
were told to expect—- 

" Some emanations of a noble mind." 

Their acquiescence however was not set off with much 
applause ; it was a suspicious truce, a sullen kind of civility, 
that did not promise more favour than we could earn ; but 
when the prologue came to touch upon the Major, and told 
his countrymen in the galleries, that 

" His heart can never trip-—" 

they, honest souls, wiio had hitherto been treated with little 
else but stage kicks and cuffs for their entertainment, sent up 
such a hearty crack, as plainly told us we had not indeed 
little cherubs^ but lusty champions, ivho sate up aloft. 

Of the subsequent success of this lucky comedy there is 
no occasion for me to speak ; eight and twenty successive 
nights it went without the buttress of an afterpiece, which 
w^as not then the practice of attaching' to a new play. Such 
was the good fortune of an author, who happened to strike 
upon a popular and taking plan, for certainly the moral of 
the West-Indian is not quite unexceptionable, neither is the 
dialogue above the level of others of the same author, which 
have been much less favoured. The snarlers snapped at 
it, but they never set their teeth into the right place ; I 
don't think I am very vain when I say that I could have 
taught them better. Garrick v/as extremely kiiid; and threw 


his shiekl before me more than once, as the St. James' evc- 
nnig paper could have witnessed. My property in the piece 
was reserved for me with the greatest exactness ; the charge 
of the house upon the author's nights was then only sixty 
pounds, and when Mr. Evans the Treasurer came to my 
house in Queen-Ann-Strcet in a hackney coach with a huge 
bag of money, he spread it all in gold upon my table, and 
seemed to contemplate it with a kind of ecstasy, that was 
extremely droll ; and when I tendered him his customary 
fee, he peremptorily refused it, saying he had never paid an 
author so much before, I had f^iirly earnt it, and he would 
not lessen it a single shilling, not eve-, his coach-hire," and 
in that humour he departed. Pie had no sooner left the 
room than one entered it, who was not quite so scrupulous, 
but quite as welcome ; my beloved v/ifc took twenty guin- 
eas from the heap, and instantly bestovrcd them on the 
faithful servant, who had attended on our children ; a tri- 
bute justly due her unwearied diligence and exemplary 

I sold the copy-right to Griian in Catharine-Street for 
150/. and if he told the truth when he boasted of having 
vended 12,000 copies, he did not make a bad bargain ; and 
if he made a goo<:l one, which it is pretty clear he did, it is 
not quite so clear he deserved it : he was a sorry fellov,^. 

I paid respectful attention to all the floating criticisms, 
that came within my reach, but I found no opportunities of 
profiting by their remarks, and very little cause to complain 
of their personalities ; in short, I had more praise tlian I 
merited, and less cavilling than I expected* One morning 
when I called upon Mr. Garrick I found him with the St. 
James's evening paper in his hand, which he began to read 
with a voice and action of surprise, most admirably counter- 
feited, and as if he had discovered a mine under my feet, 
and a train to blow me up to destruction — ■■ — ^' Here, here," 
he cried, " if your skin is less thick than a rhinoceros's hide, 
" egad, here is that will cut you to the bone. This is a ter- 
" rible fellow ; I wonder who it can be."— He began to sing 
out his libel in a high declamatory tone, with a most comic 
countenance, and pausing at the end of the first sentence, 
which seemed to favour his contrivance for a little ingenious 
tormenting, when he found he had hooked me, he laid down 
the paper, and began to comment upon the cruelty of news- 
papers, & moaii over me with a^great deal of malicious fun and 


good humour—^* Confound these fellows, they spare nobody. 
^' I dare say this is Bickerstaff again ; but you don't mind 
'• him ; no, no, I see you don't mind hini ; a little galled, 
^' but not much hurt : you may stop his mouth with a golden 
*' gag^ but we'll see how lie goes on." — He then resumed 
his reading, cheering me all the w^ay as it began to soften, 
till winding up in the most profest panegyric, of which he 
■was himself the writer, I found my friend had had his joke, 
and I had enjoyed his praise, seasoned and setoff*, in his in- 
imitable manner, which to be comprehended must have 
been seen. 

It yras the remark of Lord Lyttleton upon tliis comedy, 
"'Vhen speaking of it to me one evening at Mrs. Montagu's, 
that had it not been for the incident of O'Flaherty's hiding 
himself behind the screen, when he overhears the lawyer's 
soliloquy, he should have pronounced it a faultless composi- 
tion. This flattery his lordship surely added against the 
conviction of his better judgment merely as a sweetener to 
qualify his criticism, and by so doing convinced me that he 
suspected me of being less amenable to fair correction than 
I really am and ever have been. But be this as it may, a 
critibism from Lord Lyttleton must always be worth record- 
ing, and this especially, as it not only applies to my comedy 
in particular, but is general to all. 

'* I consider listening^'' said he, " as a resource never to 
• be allovv^ed in any pure drama, nor ought e-.ny good author 

to make use of it." This position being laid down by au- 
iiority so high, and audibly delivered, drew the attention of 
the com.pany assembled for conversation, and all vrere silent. 
** It is in fact," he added, " a violation of those rules, which 
^^ original authorities have established for the constitution of 
^' the comic drama." After all due acknowledgments for 
the favour of his remark, I replied that if I had trespassed 
against any rule laid down by classical authority in the case 
alluded to, I had done it inadvertently, for I really did not 
know where any such rule was to be found. 

" What did Aristotle say ? — Were there no rules laid 
" dov/n by liim for comedy r" None that I knew ; Aristo- 
tle referred to the Margites and Ilias Minor as models, but 
that was no rule, and the models being lost, we had neither 
precept nor example to instruct us. " Were there any pre- 
'^ cedents in the Greek or Roman drama, w hich could jus- 
" tify the measure."— To this I replied that no precedent 


eould justify the measure in my opinion, which his lordship's 
better judi^ment had condemned ; being possessed of that I 
should offend no more, but as my error was committed when 
I had no such advice to guide me, I did recollect that Aris- 
tophanes did not scruple to resort to listening, and drawing 
conclusions from what was overheard, when a man rambled 
and talked broken sentences in his bed asleep and dreaming ; 
and as for the Roman stage, if any thing could apologize 
for the Major's screen, I conceived there were screens in 
plenty upon that, which formed separate streets and entran- 
ces, which concealed the actoi^ from each other, and gave 
occasion to a great deal of listening and over-hearing in theii* 

" But this occurs," said Lord Ly ttleton, " from the con- 
" struction of the scene, not from the contrivance and intent 
^^ of the character, as in your case ; and when such an el- 
'^ pedient is resorted to by an officer like your Major, it is 
" discreditable and unbecoming of him as a man of honour." 
This was decisive, and I made no longer any struggle. — 
What my predecessors in the drama, who had been dealers 
in screens, closets and key-holes for a century past, would 
have said to this doctrine of the noble critic, I don't pretend 
to guess : it would have made sad havoc with many of them 
and cut deep into their property ; as for me, I had so weak 
a cause and so strong a majority against me, (for every lady 
in the room denounced listeners) that all I could do was to 
insert without loss of time a few words of palliation into the 
Major's part, by making him say upon resorting to his hid- 
ing p. ace — ril step, behind this screen and listen ; a good sol- 
dier must sometimes fight in ambush as vjtll as in the open^ 

I now leave this criticism to the consideration of those in- 
genious men, who may in future cultivate the stage ; I could 
name one now living, who has made such happy use of liis 
screen in a comedy of the veiy first merit, that if Aristotle 
himself had v/ritten a whole chapter professedly against 
screens, and Jerry Collier had edited it with notes and illus- 
trations, I would not have placed Lady Teazle out of ear- 
shot to have saved their ears from the pillory : but if either 
of these worthies could have pointed out an expedient to 
have got Jeseph Surface off the siuge, pending that scene, 
with any reasonable conformity to natui*^, they would have 

N. 2. 


done more p:ood to the drama than either of them have done 
harm ; and that is saying a great deal. 

There never have been any statute-laws for comedy ; 
there never can be any : it is only referable to the unv»'ritten 
law of the heart, and that is nature ; now though the natural 
child is illegitimate, the natural comedy is according to my 
conception of it what in other words we denominate the 
legitimate comedy. If it represents men and women as 
they are, it pictures nature ; if it makes monsters, it goes 
out of nature. It has a right to command the aid of spec- 
tacle, as far as spectacle is properly incidental to it, but if it 
makes its serving-maid its mistress, it becomes a puppet- 
show, and its actors ought to speak through a comb behind 
the scenes, and never shew their foolish faces on the stage. 
If the author conceives himself at liberty to send his charac- 
ters on and off the stage exactly as he pleases, and thrust 
themselves into gentl emends houses and private chambers, 
as if they could walk into them as easy as they can walk 
through the side scenes, he does not know his business ; If 
lie gives you the interior of a man of fashion's family, and 
does not speak the language, or reflect the manners, of a 
well-bred person, he undertakes to describe company he has 
never hetn admitted to, and is an impostor : if he caimot ex- 
hibit a distressed gentleman on the scene without a bailiff at 
his heels to arrest him, nor reform a dissipated lady without 
a spunging-hcuse to read his lectures in, I am sorry for his 
deaith of fancy, and lament his want of taste : if he cannot 
get his Pegasus past Nev/gate without his restively stop- 
ping like a post horse at the end of his stage, it is a pity he 
has tauo'ht him such unhandsome customs : if he permits 
the actor, whom he deputes to personate the rake of the day 
to copy the dress, air, attitude, straddle and outrageous in- 
decorum of those caricatures in our print-shops, which keep 
no terms with nature, he courts the galleries at the expence 
of decency, and degrades himself, his actor, and the stage to 
catch those pl?aidits, that convey no fame, and do not elevate 
him one inch above the keeper of the beasts of the Tower, 
who puts his pole between the bars to make the lion roar. 
In shoit it is much better, more justifiable and infinitely 
more charitable, to write nonsense and set it to good music, 
than to vv^rite ribaldry, and impose it upon good actors. — 
But of this more fully and explicitly hereafter, when com- 
^nitring myself andt my >yorks to the judgment of posterity ^ 


I shall take leave of my contemporaries, und ^vith every part- 
ing wish for theh' prosperity sl-ali bequeath to them honestly 
and without reserve all that my observation and long experi- 
ence can sut^gest for their edification and advantage. 

However, before I quite bid farev/ell to The West Indian, 
I must mention a criticism, which I picked up in Rotten 
RoAv from Nugent Lord Clare, not ex-catht-dra^ but from the 
saddle on an easy trot. His Lordship was contented with 
the play in general, but he could not relish the five wives of 
O'Fiaherty ; they were four too many for an honest man, 
and the over-abundance of them hurt his lordship's feelings ; 
I thought I could not have a better criterion for the feelings 
of other people, and desired Moody to manage the matter as 
well as he could ; he put in the qualifier of m militaire^ and 
his five wives brought him into no farther trouble; all but one 
were left-handed, and he had German practice for his plea. 
Upon the whole I must take the world's word for the merit 
of the West-Indian, and thankfully suppose that what they 
best liked was in fact best to be liked. 

A little straw will serve to light a great fire, and after the 
acting of The West-Indian, I would say, if the comparison 
was not too presumptuous, I was almost the Master Betty c-f 
the time ; but as I dare say that young gentleman is even 
now too old and too wise to be spoilt by popularity, so was I 
then not quite boy enough to be tickled by it, and not quite 
fool enough to confide in it. In short I took the same course 
then which he is taking now ; as he keeps on acting part 
after part, so did I persist in writing play after play ; and 
this, if I am not mistaken, is the surest course we either of 
us could take of lunning through ou» period of popularity, 
and of finding our true level at the conclusion of it. 

I recollect the fate of a young artist in Northamptonshire^ 
who was famous for his adroitness in pointing and repairing 
the spires of church-steeples ; he formed his scaffolds with 
consummate ingenuity, and mounted his ladders witli incre- 
dible success. The spire of the churcli of Raunds was of 
prodigious height ; it wer-peered all its neighbours, as 
Shakspeare does all his rivals ; the young adventurer was 
employed to fix the weather-cock ; he mounted to the top- 
most stone, in which the spindle was bedded; universal 
plaudits hailed him in his ascent ; he found himself at the 
very acme of his fame, but glorious ambition tempted him 
to quit his ladder, and occupy the place of the v/eather-cock, 


standing upon one leg, while he sung a song to amaze the 
rustic multitude below : what the song was, and how many- 
stanzas he lived to get through I do not know ; he sung it in 
too large a theatre, and was somewhat out of hearing ; but 
it is in my memory to know that he came to his cadence be- 
fore his song did, and falling from his height left the world 
to draw its moral from his melancholy fate. 

I now for the first time entered the lists of controversy, 
and took up the gauntlet of a renowned champion to vindi- 
cate the insulted character of my grandfather Doctor Bent- 
ley. The offensive passage met me in a pamphlet Avritten 
by Bishop Lowth professedly against Warburton, acrimoni- 
ous enough of all conscience and unepiscopally intemperate 
in the highest degree, even if his lordship had not gone out 
of his course to hurl this dirt upon the coffin of my ancestor. 
The bishop is now dead, and I will not use his name irreve- 
rently ; my gmndfather was dead, yet he stept aside to hook 
him in as a mere -verbal critic^ v/ho in matters oftaste and 
elegant literature he asserts was contemptibly deficient, and 
then he resorts to his Catullas for the most disgraceful names 
he can give him as a scholar or a gentleman, and says he was 
-aut cafirhnulgus^ autfossor^ terms, that in English, would 
have been downright blackguardism. 

All the world knows that Warburton and Lowth had mouth- 
ed and mumbled each other till their very bands blushed and 
their lawn-sleeves were bloody. I should have thought that 
the prelate, who had Warburton for his antagonist, would 
hardly have found leisure from his ov/n self-defence to have 
turned aside and fixed his teeth in a bye-stander. Yet so it 
was, and it struck, m^that the unmanly unprovoked attack 
not only warranted, but demanded, a remonstrance from the 
descendants of Doctor Bentley. I stood only in the second 
degree from my uncle Richard, and as much below him in 
controversial ability, as I was in lineal descent. I appealed 
therefore in the first place to him, as nearest in blood, and 
strongest in capacity . His blood however was not in the tem- 
per to ferment as mine did, and with a philosophical contempt 
for this sparring of pens he positively declined having any 
thing to do with the affair. I well remember, but I won't de- 
scribe the scene; he was very pleasant witn me, and remind- 
ed me with greeit kindness hov/ utierly unequal I ought to 
think myself for undertaking to hold an argument agciinst Bi- 
shop Lowth. He was perfectly right j it was exactly so th^t a 


sensible Roman would have talked to Curtiiis before he took 
his foolish leap, or a charitable European to a Bramin wi- 
dow before she devoted herself to the flames ; but my ob- 
stinacy was incorrigible. At length, having warned me that 
I was about to draw a complete discomfiture on my cause, 
he prudently conditioned with me so to mark myself out, 
either by name or description, in the title of my pamphlet, 
as that he should stand excused, and out of chance of being 
mistaken for its author. Nothing could be more reasonable, 
and I promised to comply with his injunctions, and be duly 
careful of his safety. This I fulfilled by describing myself 
under such a signature, as all but told my name, and could 
not possii)ly, as I conceived, be fathered upon him. With 
this he was content, and with great politeness, in which no 
man exceeded him, gave me his hand at parting and wished 
me a good deliverance. 

I lost no time in addressing myself to this task ; it soon 
grew into the size of a pamphlet ; my heart was v/arm in 
the subject, and as soon as my appeal appeared I was pub- 
licly known to be the author of it. I may venture to say, 
that weak as my bow was presumed to be, the arrow did not 
miss its aim, and justice universally decided for me. War- 
burton had candidly apologized to Lowth for having unknow- 
ingly hurt his feelings by some glances he had made at the 
person of a deceased relation of the Bishop of Oxford, and I 
now claimed from Lowth the same candour, which he had 
experienced in the apology of Warburton. This was unan- 
swerable, and though Bishop Lowth would not condescend 
to offer the atonement to me, which he had exacted and re- 
ceived from another, still he had the grace to keep silence, 
and not attempt a justification of himself, and that which he 
did not do per se^ he would not permit to be done fier alhun ; 
for I have reason to know he refused the voluntary reply, 
tendered to him by a certain clergyman of his diocese, ac- 
knowledging that I had just reason for retaliation, and he 
thought it better that the afiair should pass over in silence 
on his part. 

lu the mean time my pamphlet went through two full edi- 
tions, and I had every reason to believe the judgment of the 
public was in my favour. I entitled it "- A Letter to the 

'* Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of O d, contaming 

•'• some animadversions upon a character given of the late 
' Doctor Bentley in a letter from a late Professor in the 


*^ University of Oxford, to the Right Reverend Author of 
" the Divine Legation of Moses demonstrated."— To this I 
subjoined, by way of motto, 

Jarn jiarce sepulto. 

The following paragraph occurs in the 9th page of this j 
pamphlet, and is fairly pressed upon the party complained 

of -^' Recollect, my Lord, the warmth, the piety, with 

" which you remonstrated against Bishop W 's treat- 

*' ment of your father in a passage of his Julian : — It is noty 
" (you therein say) -bi behalf of myself thai I exfiostulate^ but 
" of one ^ for whom I am much more concerned^ that is — my 
" father. These are your lordship's words— amiable, af- 
" fecting expression ! instructive lesson of hiial devotion I 
" alas, my lord, that you, who were thus sensible to the 
** least speck, which fell upon the reputation of your father, 
*^ should be so invetci^ate agiunst the fame of one, at least as 
*' eminent and perhaps not less dear to his family." 

I had traced his cafirimulgus autfossor up to its source in 
one of the most uncleanly samples in Catullus, and in that 
iiame satire I was led to the character of Sulfenus, who seem- 
ed made for the very purposes of retort. My uncle Bentley 
stood clear from all suspicion of being guilty of the pam- 
phlet, with the exception of one old gentleman only, Mr. 
Commissary Greaves of Fulborne in Cambridgshire, a man 
of fortune and consequence in his county, who had ever pro- 
fessed a great esteem for the memory of my grandfather, 
with whom he had lived in great intimacy, and to wliom I 
believe he acknowledged some important obligations. This • 
vrorthy old gentleman had made a small mistake as to the 
merit of the pamphlet, and a great one as to the author ; for he 
complimented the writing, and sent a handsome present to 
the supposed writer. When this mistake v/as no longer a 
secret from Mr. Greaves, and I received not a syllable on 
the subject from him, I sent him the following letter, of 
which I chanced upon the copy, for the better understanding 
of which I must premise that he had sent me notice, through 
my relation Doctor Bentley of Nailstone, of a present of 
books, which he had designed for me, when I was a student 
at college, amounting in value to twenty pounds, but which 
promise he excused himself from performing, because there 
had been a wet season, and some of his fen lands had been 
under water — 

Mv letter was as follov/s-— 


" Dear Sir, 

" When in the warmth of your affection for the 
*' memory of my grandfather you could praise a pamphlet 
^' written by me, and address your praises to my uncle, as 
*' supposing him to be the author of it, I am more flattered 
" by your mistake, than I will attempt to express to you. 
'' You have ever been so good to me, that had your com- 
*• mendations been directed rightly, I must have ascribed 
'^ the greater share of them to your charitable interpretation 
*' of my zeal, and the rest I should have placed to the ac- 
" count of your politeness. 

" When I was an Under-graduate at Trinity college, 
^' you was so obliging as to let me be informed of your in- 
^' tention to encourage p.nd assist me in my studies, and 
" though circumstances at that time intervened to postpone 
'' your kind design, you have so abundantly overpaid me, 
** that I have no greater ambition now at heart than that I 
'' may continue so to write as to be mistaken for my uncle, 
** and you so to approve of what you read, as to see fresh cause 
^' of applauding him, who is so truly deserving of every fa- 
^' vour you can bestow." 

<^ I have the honour to be," &c. 
'^ To William Graves, Esquire, 
" Fuibourne." 

Before I quite dismiss this subject I beg leave to address 
a very few words to my friend Mr. Hay ley, who in his dt- 
sultory remarks^ prefixed to his third volume of Cov/per's 
Letters, has in his mild and civil manner made merciless 
and uncivil sport with Doctor Bentley's character. 1 give 
him notice that I meditate to wreak an exemplary vengeance 
upon him, for I will publish in these memoirs a copy of 
his verses, (very elegant in themselves, and extremely flat- 
tering to me) which I have carefully preserved, and from 
which I shall derive two very considerable advantages — the 
4)ne will be the credit of having such a sample of good poet- 
ry in my book ; the other the malicious gratification of con- 
vincing my readers, that Mr. Hayley, with all his genius, 
does not know where to apply it, praising the grandson, 
who is not worthy of his praise, and censuring the grandfa- 
ther, whom, as a scholar of the highest class, he of all men 
living ought not to have treated with flippancy and derision. 

And now methinks since I have vowed this vengeance, 
I will not let it r^lde iu my heart, neither will I longer 


withhold from my readers the verses I have promised them, 
which, though entitled an impromtu by their elegant au- 
thor, I have not suffered to vanish out of my possession with 
the rapidity, that they have probably slipt out of his recol- 
lection. If he shall be angry with me for publishing them, 
I desire he will believe, there is not a man living, who would 
not do as I have done, when flatterred by the m.use of Hay- 
ley : if the following hasty and unstudied stanzas are not so 
good as others of his finished compositions, they are still 
better than any one else would write, or could Avrite, upon 
so barren a subject — 

*^ Imfiromfitu on a Letter cf Mr. Cu7nbe7'land'sj most liber- 
" alli/ co?nmending a poem of the author' s-^^ 

" Kind nature with delight regards, 

" And glories to impart, 
" To her bold race of genuine bards 

" Simplicity of heart. 

" But gloomy spleen, who stillarraigns 

" Whate'er we lovely call, 
^^ Hath said that all poetic veins 

<' Are ting'd with envious gall. 

" Each bard, she said, would strike to eani\ 

" His rival's wreath of fame, 
'* Nor ever to inferior worth 

" Allow its humble claim. 

" But nature with a noble pride 

" Maintain'd her injiir'd cause — 
*^ O Spleen, peruse these lines," she cried, 

"Of Cumberland's applause I 

*• Enough by me hast thou been told 

"Of his poetic art ; 
" Now in his generous praise behold 

" The genius of his heart !" 

'• The sullen sprite with shame confess'd 

" Her sordid maxim vain, 
" And own'd the true poetic breast 

Unconscious of the stain. 


Whilst I have been relating the circumstances, that in- 
duced me to appeal to the world against so great a man as 
Bishop Lowth, and considering within myself how far I was 
justiiied in that apparently presumptuous measure, some 
thoughts have struck me, as I went on with my detail, 
which all arose out of the subject I was upon, though they 
do not personally apply to the parties I have been speaking 
of: And after .lil where is the difference between man and 
man, so ascendant on one side, and so depressive on the 
other, as should give to this an authority to insult, and take 
from that the privilege of remonstrance ? It is a truth not 
sufficiently enforced, and when enforced, not always admit- 
ted, though one of the most useful and important for :he go- 
vernment of our conduct, and this it is — that every man, 
hov/ever great in station or in fortune, is mutually depen- 
dent upon those, who are dependent upon him. In a social 
state no man can be truly said to be safe who is not under 
the protection of his fellow-creatures ; no man can be called 
happy, who is not possessed of their good v/iil and good 
opinion : for God never yet endowed a human creature with 
sensibility to feel an insult, but that he gave him also powers 
to express his feelings, and propensity to revenge it. 

The meanest and most feeble insect, that is provided with 
a sting, may pierce the eye of the elephant, on whose very 
ordure it subsists and feeds. 

Every human being has a sting ; why then does an over- 
grown piece of mortal clay arrogantly attempt to bestride the 
7iarrow n'orld^ and launch his artificial thunder from a l^ridge 
of brass upon us poor underlings in creation ? And v/hen v/e 
venture to lift up our heads in the crov/d, and cry out to the 
folks about us — " This is mere mock thunder ; this is no 
'^ true Jupiter ; we'll not truckle to his tyranny," — w^hy will 
some good-natured friend be ever ready to pluck us by tlic 
sleeve, and whisper in our ear — " What are you about ? 
" Recollect yourself ! he is a giant, a man-mountain ; you 
'^ are a grub, a worm, a beetle ; he'll crush you under his 
^^ foot ; he'll tread you into atoms" — not considering, or 
rather not caring — . 

*' That the poor beetle, which he trod upon, 
" In mental suffrance felt a pang as great, 
^' As what a monarch feels" 

Let no man, who belongs to a community, presume to 
*^ay that he is independent. There is no such condition in 


society. Thank God, our virtues are our best defence..— i^ 
Conciliation, mildness, charity, benevolence—^^ tebi erun 

Are there not spirits continually starting out from the 
mass of mankind, like red-hot flakes from the hammer of 
the blacksmith ? And are not these to be feared, who are 
capable of setting a whole city — aye, even a whole kingdom, 
in flames, let them only fall upon the train, that is prepared 
for them ! Who then will under-write a strutting fallow in a 
lofty station, pufP'd up with brit^f authority^ who won't an- 
swer a gentleman's letter, or allow his visit, when he asks 
admission ! If he had the integrity of Aristides, the wisdom 
of Solon and the eloquence of Demosthenes, there would be 
the congregation of an incalculable multitude to sing Te 
Deum at his downfal. He will find himself in the plight of 
the poor Arab, who mcv;le his cream-tarts without pepper ; 
for want of a little wholesome seasoning he will have marred 
his whole batch of pastry, and be condemned for a bad baker 
to the pillory. 

A shall sin against the whole decalogue, and in this 
world escape with more impunity, than the proud fellow, 
that oflends against no commandment, yet provokes you to 
detest him. I know not how to liken him to any thing aiiye, 
except it be to the melancholy mute recluse of the convent 
of La Trappe, who has no employment in life but to dig his 
own gi^ave, no other society but to keep company with his 
own coflin. If I look for his resemblance amongst the irra- 
tionals, I should compare him to a poor disconsolate ass, 
whom nobody owns and nobody befriends. The man who 
has a cudgel, bestows it on his back^ and when he brays out 
his piteous lamentations, the dissonance of his tones provoke 
no compassion ; they jarr the ear, but never move the heart. 

A certain duke of Alva about a century ago was the most 
popular man in Spain : the people perfectly adored him. 
— He had a revolution in his power every day that he stept 
without his doors. The prime minister truckled to him ; 
the king trembled at him. How he acquired this extraordi- 
nary degree of influence was a mystery, that seemed to 
puzzle all conjecture — ^notby his eloquence, or those powers 
of declamation v/hich captivate a mob ; the illustrious per- 
sonage coilld not string three sentences together into com- 
mon sense or uncommon nonsense ; wit he had none, and 
virtue he by no means abounded in ; few men in Spain were 


supposed to be more unprincipled ; if you conceived it was 
by his munificence and generosity, he could have told you 
n6 man bought his popularity so cheap, for when the secret 
came out, he confessed, that the whole mystery consisted in 
his wearing out a few more hats in the ypar than others sa- 
crificed, who did not take ofr theirs so often. 

I knew a gentleman, who was the very immediate con- 
trast to this Spanish duke ; he ^as a man of strict morality, 
who fulfilled the duties and observed the decorum of his pro- 
fession in the most exemplary manner ; in his meditative 
walk one summer morning he was greeted by a country fel- 
low with the customary salutation — " Good^morning to you, 
" Sir ! — a fine day — a pleasant walk to you 1" — " I don't 
*^ know you," he replied, " why do you interrupt me with 
*^ your familiarity ? I did not speak to you ; put your hat 
" upon your head, and pass on !" — '' so I will," cried the 
feliow, *< and never take it off again to such a proud puppy, 
*' whilst I have a head upon my shoulders — " There never 
was a hat stirred to that man from that day, and had he fallen 
into a ditch, I question if there would hc^ve been a hand stir- 
red to heve helped him out of it. 

I return to my narrative — I had a house in Queen-Anne- 
Street- West at the corner of Win^pole-Street, I lived there 
many years ; my friend Mr. Fitzherbert lived in the same 
street, and Mr. Burke nearly opposite to me. I was sur- 
prised one morning at an early hour by a visit from an old 
clergyman, the Reverend Decimus Reynolds. I knew there 
was such a person in existence, and that he w^as the son of 
Bishop Reynolds by my father's aunt, and of course his first 
cousin, but I had never seen him to' my knowledge in my life, 
and he came now at an hour when I was so particularly en- 
gaged that I should have denied myself to him but that he 
had called once or twice before and been disappointed of 
seeing me. I had my office papers before me, and my wife 
was makmg my tea, that I might get down to Whitehall in 
time for my business, and the coach was waiting at the clour. 
He was shewn into the room ; a more uncouth person, habit 
and address was hardly to be met with : he advanced, stopt, 
and stood staring with his eyes fixed upon me for some time, 
when, putting his hand into a pocket in the lining of the 
breast of his coat, he drew out an old packet of paper rolled 
up and tied with whip-cord, and very ceremoniously desired 
me to peruse it. I begged to know what it was ; for it was 



a work of time to unravel the knots— he replied — " My 
will." And what am I to do ^vith your will, Sir ? — ^^' My 
heir — " Well, Sir, and who is your heir? (I really did not 
understand him) — " Richard Cumberland — look at the date 
" — left it to you twenty years ago— my whole estate — real 
" and personal — come to town on purpose— brought up my 
*^ little deeds— put them into your hands — sign a deed of 
*' gift, and make them over to you hard and fast." 

All this v/hile I had not looked at his will ; I did not know 
he had any property, or, if he had, I had no guess where it 
lay, nor did I so much as know whereabouts he lived. Ii\ 
tlie mean time he delivered himself in so strange a style, by 
starts and snatches, with long pauses and strong sentences, 
that I suspected him to be deranged, and I saw by the ex- 
pression of my wife's countenance, that she was under the 
same suspicion also. I now cast my eye upon the will ; I 
found my name there as his heir, under a date of twenty 
years past ; It was therefore no sudden caprice, and I con- 
jured him to tell me if he had any cause of quarrel or dis- 
pleasure with his nearer relations. Upon this he sate do^vn, 
took some time to compose himself, for he had been great- 
ly agitated, and having recovered his spirits, answered me 
deliberately and calmly, that he had no immediate matter 
of offence with his relations, but he had no obligations to 
them of any sort, and had been entirely the founder of his 
own fortune, which by marriage he had acquired and by 
ceconomy improved. I stated to him that my friend and 
cousin Mr. Richard Reynolds, of Paxton in Huntingdon- 
shire, was his natural hei^', and a man of most unexception- 
able woith and good character : he did not deny it, but he 
was wealthy and childless, and he had bequeathed it to me, 
as his will would testify, twenty years ago, as being the 
representative of the maternal branch of his family : in fine 
he required of me to accompany him to my conveyancer, 
and direct a positive deed of gift to be drawn up, for which 
purpose he had brought his title deeds with him, and should 
leave them in my hands. He added in further vmdication of 
his motives, that my father had been ever his most valued 
friend, that he had constantly watched my conduct and scru- 
tenized my character, although he had not seen occasion to 
establish any personal acquaintance with me. Upon this 
explanation, and the evidence of his having inherited no 
atom of his fortune from his paternal line, I accepted his 


bounty so far as to appoint the next mornini^ for callini^ on 
Mr. Heron, who then had chambers in Gray's Inn, when I 
would state the case to him, and refer myself to his judg- 
ment and good counsel. The result of my confcrrencc with 
the lately deceased Sir Richard Heron was the insertion of 
a clause of resumption, empowering the doner to revoke his 
deed at any future time when he should see fit, and this 
clause I particularly pointed out to my benefactor when he 
signed the deed. 

It was with difficulty I prevailed upon him to admit it, and 
can witness to the uneasiness it gave him, whilst he prophet- 
ically said I had left him exposed to the solicitations and re- 
monstrances of his nephews, and that the time might come, 
when in the debility of age and irresolution of mind, he might 
be pressed into a revocation of what he had decided upon as 
the most deliberate act of his life. 

My kind old friend stood a long siege before he suffered 
his prediction to take place ; for it was not till after nearly 
ten years of uninterrupted cordiality, that, weak and weari- 
ed out by importunity, he capitulated with his besiegers, 
and, and sending his nephew into my house in Queen-Ann 
Street unexpectedly one morning, surprised me with a de- 
mand, that I would render back the whole of his title deeds : 
I delivered them up exactly as I had received them ; his mes- 
senger put them into his hackney coach and departed. 

In consequence of tiiis proceeding I addressed the follow- 
ing letterto the Reverend Mr. Decimus Reynolds at Clophiil 
in Bedfordshire. 

" Que en -Ann -Street, 

" Monday 13th Jtyi. 1779, 
" Dear Sir, 

" I received your letter by the conveyance of 
" Major George Reynolds, and in obedience to your com- 
" mands have resigned into his hands all your title deeds, 
" entrusted to my custody. I would have had a sciicdule 
" taken of them by Mr. Kipling for your better satisfaction 
" and security, but as your directions Avere peremptory, 
" and Major Reynolds, wlio was ill, might have been pre- 
" judiced by any delay, I thought it best to put them into 
" his hands witiiout further form, which be assured I have 
" done without the omission of one, for they have lain undei^ 
** seal at my banker's ever since they have been committed 
** to my care. 

'» O a 


^^ Whatever motives may gavern you, dear Sir, for re» 
" calling either your confidence, or your bounty, from me 
" and my family, be assured you will still possess and retain 
" my gratitude and esteem I have only a second time lost 
" a father, and I am now too much in the habit of disap- 
" pointment and misfortune, not to acquiesce with patience 
" under the dispensation. 

". You well can recollect, that your first bounty was un- 
" expected and unsolicited : it would have been absolute, if 
" I had not thought it for my reputation to make it condi- 
" tional, and subject to your revocation : perhaps I did not. 
" believe you would revoke it, but since you have been in- 
^' duced to wish it, believe me I rejoice in the reflection^ 
" that every thing has been done by me for your accommo- 
*' dation, and I had rather my children would inherit an ho- 
" iiourable poverty, than an amplejpatrimony, which caused 
" the giver of it one moment of regret. 

" I believe I have some few papers still at Tetworth, 
" which I received from you in the country. I shall shortly 
" go down thither, and will wait upon you with them. At 
*^ the same time, if you wish to have the original convey- 
" ance of your lands, as drawn by Sir Richard Heron, 
" I shall obey you by returning it : the uses being cancelled, 
" the form can be of little value, and I can bear in memory 
^^ your former goodness without such a remembnmcer. 

;, " Mrs. Cumberland and my daughters join me in love and 
^^•rrespects to you and Mrs. Reynolds, whom by this occa^ 
" sion I beg to thank for all her kindness to me and mine. 
*' I spoke yesterday to Sir Richard Heron" [Sir Richard 
Heron was Chief Secretary in Ireland] " and pressed with 
*' more than common earnestness upon him to fulfil your 
" wishes in favour of Mr. Decimus Reynolds in Ireland. 
" It would be much satisfiction to me to hear the deeds 
" came safe to hand, and I hope you will favour me with a 
" line to say so. 

" I am^ iD'c. ^c. 

" R. C." 

I have been tlie more particular in the detail of this trans- 
action, because I had been unfairly represented by a rela- 
tion, whom in the former pait of these memoirs I have re- 
corded as the friend of my youth ; a man, whom I dearly lov- 
ed, QMil towards whom I had conducted myself through the 
'-vhole progress of this affaii' v/ith the strictest honour and 


good faith, voluntarily subjecting: myself, the father of six 
cliilclren, to be deprived of a valuable gift, which the be- 
stower of it wished to have been absolute and irrevocable. 

That relation is yet living, and by some few years an old- 
er man than I am. Though I may have ceased to live in his 
remembrance, he has not lost his place in my affection and 
regard. I wish him health and happiness for ti.e remainder 
of his days, and, in the tne perfect consciousness of having 
merited more kindness than I have received, bid him hear- 
tily farewxll. 

There was more celebrity attached to the success of a new 
play in the days, of which I am speaking, than in the per- 
sent time when— 

Portents and prodigies are ^rown so frequent^ 
That they have lost their name. 

The happy hit of The West-Idian drew a considerable re- 
sort of the friends and followers of the Muses to my house. 
J was superlatively blest in a wdfe, who conducted my family 
with due attention to my circumstances, yet with every ele- 
gance and comfort, that could render it a welcome and agree- 
able rendezvous to my guests. I had six children, whose 
birth days were comprised within the period of six years, and 
they were by no means trained and educated with that lax- 
ity of discipline, which renders so many houses terrible to 
the visitor, and almost justifies Foote in his professed vene- 
ration for the character of Herod. My young ones stood 
like little soldiers to be reviewed by those, who wished to 
have them drawn up for inspection, and were dismissed like 
soldiers at a word. Few parents had more excuse for being 
vain than my wife and I had, for I may be ?Howed to say my 
daughters even then gave promise of that grace and beauty, 
for which they afterwards became so generally and conspicu- 
ously noticed ; and my four boys wxre not behind them in 
form or feature, though hot climates and hard duty by sea 
and land, in the service of their king and country, have laid 
two of them in distant graves, and rendered the survivors 
war-worn veterans before their time. Even poor Fitzher- 
bert, fiiy unhappy and lamented friend, with all his fond be- 
nignity of soul could not with his caresses introduce a relax- 
ation of discipline in the ranks of our small infantry ; and 
tlioug;h Garrick could charm a circle of them about him whilst 


he acted the turkey-cocks, and peacocks, and water-wagtails 
to their infinite and undescribable amusement, yet at the word 
or even look of the mother, himotusanimorumwev^ instantly 
composed, and order re-established, whenever it became 
time to release their generous entertainer from the trouble 
of his exertions. 

Ah ! 1 would wish the world to believe, that they take but 
a very short and impartial estimate of that departed charac- , 
ter, who only appreciate him as the best actor in the world : ^ 
he was more and better than that excellence alone could \ 
make him by a thousand estimable qualities, and much as I ; 
enjoyed his company, I have been more gratified by the , 
emanations of his heart than by the sallies of his fancy and 
imagination. Nature had done so much for him, that he 
could not help being an actor ; she gave him a frame of so 
manageable a proportion, and from its flexibility so perfectly 
under command, that by its aptitude and elasticity he could 
draw it out to fit any sizes of character, that tragedy could 
ofter to him, and contract it to any scale of ridiculous dimi- 
nution, that his Abel Drugger, Scrub, or Fribble, could re- 
quire of him to sink it to. His eye in the mean time was so 
penetrating, so speaking ; his brow so moveable, and all his 
features so plastic, and so accommodating, that wherever his 
mind impelled them they would go, and before his tongue- 
could give the text, his countenance would express the spirit 
and tlie passion of the part he was encharged with. 

I always studied the assortment of the characters, who ho- 
noured me with their company, so as never to bring uncon- 
genial humours into contact with each other. How often have 
I seen all the 0!)jects of society frustrated by inattention to 
the proper grouping of the guests ! The sensibility of some 
men of genius is -so quick and captious, that you must first 
consider whom they can be happy with, before you can pro- 
mise yourself any happiness with tlicm. A rivalry in wit 
and humour will oftentimes render both parties silent, and 
put them on their guard ; if a chance hit, or lucky sally, on 
the part of a competitor, engrosses trie applause of the table, 
ten to one if the stricken cock ever crows upon the pit agaui : 
a matte r-ot-fact man wVil make a pleasant feilow sullen, and 
and a suUen fellow, if provoked by raillery, will distu: > the 
comforts of the whole society. 

It is tiresome listening to the nonsense of those, who can 
talk nothing else, but nonsense talked by men of wit andun- 


(lerstancUng, in the hour of relaxation, is of the very finest 
essence of conviviality, and a treat delicious to those, who 
have the sense to comprehend it. 1 have known, and coul4 
name many, who understood this art in its perfection, but a^ 
it implies a trust in the company, not always to be riskedi 
their practice of it was not very frequent. 

.J^aillery is of all weapons the most dangerous and two« 
edged ; of course it ought never to be handled, but by a gen- 
tleman, and never should be played with, but upon a gentle- 
man ; the familiarity of a low-born vulgar man is dreadful ; 
bis raillery, his jocularity, like the shaking of a water-spa^ 
niel, can never fail to soil you with some sprinkling of the 
dunghill, out of which he sprung. 

A disagreement about a name or a date will mar the best 
story, that was ever put together. Sir Joshua Reynolds 
luckily could not hear an interrupter of this sort ; Johnson 
w^oiild not hear, or if he heard him, would not heed him; • 
Spame Jenyns heard him, heeded him, set him right, and 
took up his tale, where he had left it, without any diminution 
pf its humour, adding only a few more twists to his snuff-box, 
a few more taps upon the lid of it, with a preparatory grunt 
or two, the invariable forerunners of the amenity, that was 
at the heels of them. He was the man, who bore his part in 
all societies with the most even temper and undisturbed hi- 
larity of all the good companions, wiiom I ever knew. He 
came into your house at the very moment you had put upon 
your card ; he dressed himself to do your party honour in 
all the colours of the jay ; his lace indeed had long since lost 
its lustre, but his coat had faithfully retained its cut since the 
days when gentlemen wore embroidered figured velvets with 
short sleeves, boot cuffs, and buckram skirts ; as nature had 
cast him in the exact mould of an ill-made pair of stiff stays, 
he followed her so close in the fashion of his coat, that it was 
doubted if he did not wear them : because he had a protu- 
berant wen just under his pole, he wore a wig, that did not 
cover above half his head. His eyes were protuded like the 
eyes of the lobster, who wears them at the end of his feel- 
ers, and yet thei^e was room between one of these and his 
npse for another wen that added nothing to his beauty; yet I 
heard this good man very innocently remark, when Gibbon 
published his history, that he w^ondered any body so ugly 
could write a book. 

Such was the exterior of a man, w^ho was the charm of the 
circle, and gave a zest to every company he came into ; his 


pleasantry was of a sort peculiar to himself ; it harmonized 
with every thing ; it was like the bread to our dinner ; you 
did not perhaps make it the whole, or principal part, of your 
meal5but it was an admirable and wholesome auxiliary to your 
other viands. Soame Jenyns told you no long stories, en- 
grossed not much of your attention, and was not angry with 
those that did ; his thoughts were original, and were apt \o 
have a very whimsical affinity to the paradox in them : he 
wrote verses upon dancing, and prose upon the origin of 
evil, yet he was a very indifferent metaphysician and a worse 
dancer ; ill nature and personality, with the single exception 
of his lines upon Johnson,! never heard fall from his lips; those 
lines I have forgotten, though I believe I was the first per- 
son to whom he recited them ; they were very bad, but he 
had been told that Johnson ridiculed his metaphysics, and 
some of us had just then been making extemporary epitaphs 
upon each other : though his wit was harmless, yet the gen- 
eral cast of it was ironical ; there was a terseness in his re- 
partees, that had a play of words as well as of thought, as 
when speaking of the difference between laying out mon^y 
upon land, or purchasing into the funds, he said, " One was 
" principal without interest, and the other interest without 
^^ principal." Certain it is he had a brevity of expression, 
that never hung upon the ear, and you felt the point in the 
very moment that he made the push. It was rather to be 
lamented that his lady Mrs. Jenyns had so great a respect 
for his good sayings, and so im.perfect a recollection of them, 
for though she always prefaced her recitals of them with-— 
as Mr, Jenyns says — it was not ahvays what Mr. Jenyns said, 
and never, I am apt to think, as Mr. Jenyns said ; but she 
was an excellent old lady, and twirled her fan with as miuch 
mechanical address as her ingenious husband twirled his 

The brilliant vivacity of Garrick was subject to be cloud- 
ed ; little flying stories had too much of his attention, and 
more of his credit than they should have had ; and certainly 
there were too many bcbbiers who had access to his ear. 
There was some precaution necessary as to the company 
you associated with him at your table ; Fitzherbert under- 
stood that in general admirably well, yet he told me of a cer- 
tain day, when Garrick, who had perhaps been put a little 
out of his way, and was missing from the company, was 
found in the back yard acting a turkey-cock to a black bovj 


>vho was capering for joy and continually crying out— 
" Massa Garrick, do so make me laugh : I shall die with 
u laughing-*-.'* The story I have no doubt is true ; but I 
rather think it indicates the very contrary from a ruffled 
temper, and marks good humour in its very strongest light. 
To give amusement to children, and^ to take pleasure in 
the act, is such a symptom of suavity, as can never be 

I made a visit with him by his own proposal to Foote at 
Parson's Green ; I have heard it said he was reserved and 
uneasy in his company ; I never saw him more at ease and 
in a happier flow of spirits than on that occasion. 

Where a loud-tongued talker was in company, Edmund 
Burke declined all claims upon attention, and. Samuel John- 
son, whose ears were not quick, seldom lent them to his 
conversation, though he loved the man, and admired his 
talents : I have seen a dull damping matter of fact man quell 
the effervescence even of Foote's unrivalled humour. 

But I remember full well, when Garrick and 1 made him 
the visit above mentioned, poor Foote had something 
v/orse than a dull man to struggle with, and matter of fact 
brought home to him in a way, that for a time entirely over- 
threw his spirits, and most completely frighted him from his 
jiroiinety. We had taken him by surprise, and'of course 
were with him^ some hours before dinner, to make sure of 
our own if we had missed of his. He seemed overjoyed to 
see us, engaged us to stay, wajked with us in his garden^ 
and read to us some scenes roughly sketched for his Maid in 
Bath. His dinner was quite good enough, and his wme su- 
perlative : Sir Robert Fletcher, who had served in the East 
Indies, dropt in before dinner and made the fourth of our 
piii^iy : When we had passed about two hours in perfect har- 
mony and hilarity, Garrick called for his tea, and Sir Rob- 
ert rose to depart : there was an unlucky screen in the room, 
that hid the door, and behind which Sir Robert hid himself 
for some purpose, whether natural or artificial I know not ; 
but Foote, supposing him gone, instantly began to play off 
his ri^licule at the expence of his departed guest. I must 
confess it was (in the cant phrase) a way that he had^ and just 
now a Very unlucky way, for Sir Robert bolting from behind 
the screen, cried out — " I am not gone, Foote ; spare me till 
" Lam out of hearing ; and now vath your leave I. will stay 
'' till these gentlemfen depart, and, then you sha.ll amuse 
'^ me at their cost, as you have ainused them at minep" 


A remonstrance of this sort was an electric shock, that 
could not be parried. I^o wit could furnish an evasion, noj 
explanation could suffice for an excuse. The offended gen- | 
tie man was to the full as angry as a brave man ought to be 
with an unfortunate wit, who possessed very little of that 
quality, which lie abounded in. This event, which deprived 
Foote of ail presence of mind, gave occasion to Gari ick to 
display his genius and good nature in tlieir brightest lUstre : 
1 never saw him in a more ami-tble light ; the infinite ad- 
dress and iagenuity, that he exhibited, in softeninL- the en- 
raged guest; and reconciling him to pass over an affVoat, as 
gross as could well be put upon a man, were at once the 
most comic ^lid the raost complete I ever witnessed. Why 
Was not James Bosweii present to have recorded the diclogue 
And the action of the scene ? My stu])id head only carried 
away the effect of it. It was as if Diomed (who being the 
son of Tydeus was I conclude a great hero in a small com- 
pass) had been shielding Thersites from tb.e wrath of Ajax ; 
and so wrathful was our Ajax, that if I did not recollect 
there was a certain actor at Delhi, who in the height of the 
massacre charmed away the furious passions of Nadir Shaw, 
and saved a remnant of the city, I should say this was a vic- 
tory without a parallel. I hope Foote was very grateful, 
but when a man has been completely humbled, he is not 
very fond of recolleeting it. 

There was a gentleman of very- general notoriety at this 
time, who had the address to collect about him a considera- 
ble resort of men of v^it and learning at no other expence on 
his part than of the meat and drink, which they consumed ; 
for as he had no predilection for reading their works, he did 
not put himself to the charge of buying them. The gentle- 
man himself was of the Scottish nation ; in that nobody could 
be mistaken ; all beyond that was matter of conjecture, save 
only that it was universally understood that Mr. Thomas 
Mills was under the protection of the great Lord Mansfield. 
Having been Town-Major of Quebec, he took the title of a 
field-officer, and having been squire to a knight of the Bath 
on the ceremony of an installation, he became Sir Thomas, 
and a knight himself. It was chiefly through my acquaint- 
ance with this gentleman that I became a member of a very 
pleasant society (for we never had the establishment of a 
club) who used to dine together upon stated days at the Bri- 
tish Coffee-Hous'e, then kep^t by Mrs. Anderson^ a person 


of great respectability. Many of the members of this soci- 
ety were men of the first eminence for their talents, and Bi 
there was no exclusion in our system of any member's friend 
or friends, our parties were continually enlivened by the in- 
troduction of new guests who of course furnished new sour- 
ces for conversation from which politics and party seemed 
by general consent decidedly proscribed. Foote, Reynolds, 
Fitzherbert, Goldsmith, Garrick, Macpherson, Doctors Car- 
lisle, Robinson, Beattie, Caleb Whitefoord, with many oth- 
ers, resorted there as they saw fit. 

In one of these meetings it was suggested and recom- 
mended to me to take up the character of a North-Briton, as 
I had those of an Irishman and West-Indian. I observed, 
in answer to this, that I had not the same chance for success 
as I had in my sketch of O'Flaherty, fori had never resided 
in Scotland, and should be perfectly at a loss where to seek 
for the dialect of my hero. '* How could that be," Fitzher- 
bert observed, "i when I was in the very place to find it, (al- 
luding to the British Coffee-House and the company we wxre 
in) " however," he added, " give your Scotchman charac- 
'' ter, and take your chance for dialect. If you bring a Ro- 
'' man on the stage, yooi don't make him speak Latin — ." 
^' No, no," cried Foote, " and if you don't make him wear 
'' breeches, Garrick will be much obliged to you. When I 
" \tas at Stranraer I went to the Kirk, where the Mess-John 
^' v/as declaiming most furiously against luxury, and, as 
" heaven shall judge me, there was not a pair of shoes in 
" the whole congregation." 

This turned the conversation from my comedy to matters 
* more amusing, but the suggestion had taken hold of my 
fancy, and I began to frame the character of Colin Macleod 
upon the model of a Highland servant, who with scrupulous 
integrity, and a great deal of nationality about him, managed 
all the 'domestic affairs of Sir Thomas Mills's household, and 
being a great favourite of every body, who resorted there, 
became in time, as it w^ere, one of the company. With no 
otiier guide for the dialect of my Macleod than what the 
Scotch characters of the sta^e supplied me with, I endowed 
him with a good heart, and sent him to seek his fortune. 

I was aware I had some little fame at stake, and bestowed 
my utmost care and attention upon the writing of this com- 
edy :^ I availed myself of Mr. Garrick's judgment at all pro- 
per intervals as I advarxed towards the completion of it . 


This I have acknowledged m the advertisement, and though 
I did not form sanguine hopes of its obtaining equal success 
with The West-Indian in representation, I confess I flatter- 
ed myself that I had outgone that drama in point of compo- 
sition. When I found that Garrick thought of it as I did, I 
ventured to avov/ my preference in the prologue. I have 
been reading it over with attention, and so many years have 
passed since I wrote it, that I have very little of the feeling 
of the author when I speak of it. I rather think I was right in 
giving it the preference to the West-Indian, though I ani 
far from sure I was unprejudiced in my judgment at that time. 
An author, who is conscious that his new work will riot be 
equally popular with his preceding one, will be very apt to 
imitate the dealer, who, having a pair of horses to sell, will 
bestow all his praise upon the worst, and leave the best to 
recommend himself. I verily believe if The Fashionable 
Lover was not my composition, and I were called upon to 
give my opinion of it, (speaking only of its merits, and re- 
servmg to myself my opinion of its faults) I should be in- 
clined to say it was a dmma of a moral, grave and tender 
cast, inasmuch as I ciscovered in it sentiments, laudably di- 
rected against national prejudice, breach of trust, seduction^ 
gamming, and the general dissipation of tliC time tlien pre- 
sent. I could not deny it a preference to The West-Indian 
in a moral light, and perhaps, if I were in a very good hu- 
mour with its author, I might be tempted to say that in point 
of diction it approached very nearly to what I conceived to 
be tne true style of comedy— /oca non ivfra soccum^ seria non 
tisque cothurnum. 

At the time when this play came out, the demands of the 
staee for novelty were much limited, and of course the ex- 
cluded many had full leisure to wreak their malice on the 
selected few. I v* as silly enough to be in earnest and make 
serious appeals agcunst cavillers and slanderers below no- 
tice : this induced my friend Garrick to call me the man 
without a skin, a,nd sure enough I sjiould have been without 
u skin, if the newspaper beadles could have had their will of 
me for I constantly stood out against themx, and would never 
ask quarter. I have been long since convinced of my folly, 
but I am not at ail asham.ed of my principle, for I always 
made common cause with m.y contemporaries, and never se- 
parated my own particular interests from those of literature 
in general, as will in part appear by the following paragraph. 


extracted from the advertisement, which I prefixed to this 
comedy on its publication — " Whether the reception of this 
" comedy," I therein say, " may be such as shall encour- 
" age me to future eRbrts is of small consequence to the 
" public, but if it should chance to obtain some little credit 
" with the candid part of mankind, and its author for once 
'^ escape without those personal and unworthy aspersions, 
" which writers, who hide their own names, fling on them 
" w^ho publish their's, my success, it may l:e hoped, w^ill 
" draw forth others to the undertaking with far superior re- 
" quisites ; and that there are numbers under this descrip- 
" tion, whose sensibility keeps them silent, I am well per- 
" suaded, when I consider how general it is for men of the 
" finest parts to be subject to the finest feedings ; and I 
" would submit whether this unhandsome practice of abuse 
" is not calculated to create in the minds of men of genius 
" not only a disinclination to engage in dramatic composi- 
" tions, but a languid and unanimated manner of executing 
" them, &c. S^c. — " 

'The remark is jast,but I remember Lord Mansfield on a cer- 
tain occasion Scddto me, that if a single syllable from his pen 
could at once confute an anonymour, defamer, he would not 
gratify him v/ith the word. This niight be a very becoming 
rule for him to follow, and yet it might by no means apply to 
a man of my humble sort, and in truth there was a filthy 
nest of vipers at that time in league against every name, to 
which any degree of celebrity was attached, and they kept 
their hold upon the papers till certain of their leaders* were 
compelled to fly their country, some to save tiieirears and 
some to save their necks. They were well know^n, and I am 
sorry to say some men, whose minds should have been su- 
perior to any terrors they could holdout, made suit to them 
for favour, nay even combined with them on some occasions, 
and were mean enough to enroll themselves under their des- 
picable banners. It is to the honour of the present time, and 
infinitely to the repose of the present writers for the stage, 
that all these dirty doings are completely done away, and an 
jera of candour and human kindness has succeeded to one, 
that was scandalously the opposite. 

At this time I did not know Oliver Goldsmith even by 
person ; I think our first meeting chanced to be at the Bri- 
tish CofTee-House ; when we came together, ^ve were spee- 
dily coalesced, and I believe he forgave me for all the little 


fume I had got by the success of the West-Indian, which 
had put him to some trouble, for it was not his nature to be 
unkind, and I had soon an opportunity of convincing him 
how incapable I was of harbouring resentment, and how zea- 
lously I took my share in what concerned his interest and 
reputation. That he was fantastically and whimsically vain 
all the world knows, but there was no settled and inherent 
malice in his heart. He was tenacious to a ridiculous ex- 
treme of certain pretensions, that did not, and by nature 
could not, belong to him, and at the same time inexcusably 
careless of the fame, which he had powers to command. 
His table-talk w^as, as Garrick aptly compared it, like that 
of a parrot, whilst he wrote like Apollo ; he had gleams of 
eloquence, and at times a majesty of thought, but in general 
his tongue and his pen had two very different styles of talk- 
ing. What foibles he had he took pains to conceal, the good 
qualities of his heart were too frequently obscured by the 
carelessne^ss of his conduct, and the frivolity of his manners. 
Sir Joshua Reynolds was very good to him, and would have- 
drilled him into better trim and order for society, if he 
would have been amenable, for Reynolds wtis a perfect 
gentleman, had good sense, great propriety with all the so- 
cial attributes, and all the graces of hospitality, equal to any 
man. He well knew how to appreciate men of talents, and 
how near akin the Muse of poetry was to that art, of which 
he was so eminent a master. Fromt Goldsmith he caught 
the subject of his famous Ugolino ; what aids he got from 
others, if he got any, were worthily bestowxd and happily 

There is something in Goldsmith's prose, that to my ear 
is uncommonly sweet and harmonious ; it is clear, simple, 
easy to be understood ; we never want to read his period twice 
over, except for the pleasure it bestows ; obscurity never 
calls us back to a repetition of it. That he was a poet there 
IS no doubt, but the paucity of his verses does not allow us to 
rank him in that high station, where his genius might have 
carried him. There must be bulk, variety and grandeur of 
design to constitute a first-rate poet. The Deserted Vil- 
lage, Traveller and Hermit are all specimens beautiful as 
such, but they are only birds eggs on a string, and eggs of 
small birds too. One great magnificent w/zo/e must be ac- 
complished before we can pronounce upon the maker to be 
the 'c ':uoir,Tric. Pope himself nevxr earned his title by a work 


of any magnitude but his Homer, and that beinc^ a translation 
only constitutes him an accomplished versifier. Dir:tress 
drove Goldsmith upon undertakings, neither congenial with 
his studies, nor worthy of his talents. I remember him, 
when in his chamber in the Temple, he shewed me the be- 
ginning of his ^;zf??zfi:/f(/ Aa^w?^^' ; it was with a sigh, such as 
genius draws, when hard necessity diverts it from its bent to 
drudge for bread, and talk of birds and beasts and creeping 
'things, which Pidock's show-man would have done as well. 
Foor fellow, he hardly knew an ass from a mule, nor a tur- 
key from a goose, but when he saw it on the table. But pub- 
lishers hate poetry, and Paternoster-Row^ is not Parnassus. 
Even the mighty Doctor Hill, who v/as not a very delicate 
feeder, could not make a dinner out of the press till by a hap- 
py transformation into Hannah Glass he turned himself into a 
cook, and ST>Id receipts for made dishes to all the savoury rea- 
ders in the kingdom. Then indeed the press acknowledged 
him second in fame only to John Bunyan ; his feasts kept 
pace in sale v/ith Nelson's fasts, and wl^en his own name was 
fairly written out of credit, he wrote himself into immorta- 
lity under an alias. Now though necessity, or I should ra- 
ther say the desire of finding money for a masquerade, drove 
Oliver Goldsmith upon abridging histories and turning Buf- 
foon into English, yet I much doubt if without that spur he 
would ever have put his Pegasus into action ; no, if he had 
i^een rich, the world would have been poorer than it is by the 
loss ofall the treasures of his genius and the contributions of 
his pen. 

Who will say that Johnson himself would have been such 
a cham.pion in literature,such a front-rank soldier in the fields 
of fame, if he had not been pressed into the service, and dri- 
ven on to glory with the bayonet of snarp necessity pointed 
at his back ? If fortune had turned him into a field of clover, 
he would have laid down and rolled in it. The mere ma- 
nuel labour of writing would not have allowed his lassitude 
and love of ease to have taken the pen out of the inkhorn, un- 
less the cravings of liunger had remhiied him that he must 
fill the sheet before he saw the tablecloth. He might in- 
deed have knocked dovfn Osbourne for a blockliead, but he 
would not have knocked him down with a folio of his own 
writing. He would perha]>s have been the dictator of a 
club, and wherever he sate down to conversation, there rniisc 
have been that splash of strong bold thought aJbout him« 
p 3 


that we might still have had a collectanea after his death ; 
but of prose I guess not much, of works of labour none, 
of fancy pei-haps something more, especially of poetry, 
which under favour I conceive was not his tower of strength. 
I think we should have had his Rasselas at all events, 
for he was likely enough to have written at Voltaire, and 
brought the question to the test, if infidelity is any aid to wit. 
An orator he must have been ; not improbably a parliament- 
arian, and, if such, certainly an oppositionist, for he prefer- 
red to talk against the tide. He would indubitably have been 
no member of the Whig Club, no partisan of Wilkes, no 
friend of Hume, no believer in Macpherson ; he would have 
put up prayers for early rising, and laid in bed all day, and 
with the most active resolutions possible been the most in- 
dolent mortal living. He was a good man by nature, a great 
man by genius, we are now to enquire what he was by com- 

Johnson's first style was naturally energetic, his middle 
style was turgid to a fault, his latter style was softened down 
and harmonized into periods, more tuneful and more intelli- 
gible. His execution was rapid, yet his mind was not easily 
provoked into exertion ; the variety vfe find in his writings 
was not the variety of choice arising from the impulse of his 
proper genius, but tasks imposed upon him by the dealers in 
ink, and contracts on his part submitted to in satisfaction of 
the pressing calls of hungry want ; for, painful as it is to, re- 
late, I have heard that illustrious scholar assert (and he ne- 
ver varied from the truth of fact) that he subsisted himself 
for a considerable space of time upon the scanty pittance of 
four-pence half-penny per day. How melancholy to reflect 
that his vast trunk and stimulating appetite were to be sup- 
ported by what v/ill barely feed the weaned infant ! Less, 
much less, than Master Betty has earned in one night, would 
have cheered the mighty mind, and maintained the athletic 
body of Samuel Johnson in comfort and abundance for a 
twelvemonth Alas ! I am not fit to paint his chai^acter ; nor 
is there need of it ; Etiain mortuus loquitur : every man who 
can buy a book, has bought a Bosnvell ; Johnson is known to 
all the reading world. I also knew him well, respected him 
highly, loved him sincerely : it was never my chance to see 
him in those moments of moroseness and ill humour, which 
are imppted to him, perhaps with truth, for v/ho would slan- 
der him I But I am not warranted by any experience of those 


humours to speak of him otherwise than of a friend, who al- 
ways met me with kindness., and from wliom I never sepe- 
rated without regret. When I sought his company he had 
no capricious exci\ses for withholding it, but lent himself to 
every invitation with corcliahty", and brought good humour 
with him, that gave Ufe to the circle he was in. He presented 
himsftlf always in his fashion of apparel ; a brown coat with 
metal buttons, black waistcoat and worsted stockings, with a 
flowing bob wig was the style of his wardrobe, but they were 
in perfectly good trim, and with the ladies, Avhich he gene- 
rally met, he had nothing of the slovenly philosopher about 
him ; he fed heartily, but not voraciously, and was extreme- 
ly courteous in his commendations of any dish, that pleased 
his palate ; he suffered hj > next neighbour to squeeze the 
China oranges into his wine glass after dinner, which 
else perchance had gone aside, and trickled into his shoes, 
for the good man had neither straight sight nor steady 

At the tea table he had considerable demands upon his fa- 
vourite beverage, and I remember when Sir Joshua Reynolds 
at my house reminded him that he had drank eleven cups, 
he replied — " Sir, I did not count your glasses of wine, why 
" should you number up my cups of tea ?" And then laugh-, 
ing in perfect good humour he added — '' Sir, I should have 
" released the lady from any further trouble, if it had not 
" been for your remark ; but you have reminded me that I 
" want one of the dozen, and I must request Mrs. Cumber- 
" land to round up my number — " When he saw the readi- 
ness and complacency, with which my wife obejed his call, 
he turned a kind of cheerful look upon her and said — -" Ma- 
" dam, I must tell you for your comfort, you have escaped 
" much better than a certain lady did awhile ago, upon whose 
^' patience I intruded greatly more than I have done on 
" yours ; but the lady asked me for no other purpose but to 
" make a Zany of me, and set me gabbling to a parcel of 
" people I knew nothing of; so, madam, I had my revenge 
" of her ; for I swallowed five and twenty cups of her tea, 
" and did not treat her with as many words — " I can only say 
my wife would have made tea for him as long as the New- 
River could have supplied her with w^ater. 

It was on such occasions he was to be S9en in his happiest 
moments, when animated by the cheering attention of friends 
vfhom he liked, he would give full scope to those talents for 



narration, in which I verily think he was unrivalled both in 
the brilliancy of his wit, the flow of his humour and the 
energy of his language. Anecdotes of time past, scenes of 
his own life, and characters of humourists, enthusiasts, crack- 
brained projectors and a variety of strange beings, that he had 
chanced upon, when detailed by him at length, and garnished 
with those episodical remarks, sometimes comic, sometimes 
grave, which he would throw in with infinite fertility of fancy, 
were a treat, which tho' not always to be purchased by five and 
twenty cups of tea, I have^ften had the happiness to enjoy 
for less than half the number. He was easily led into topics ; 
it was not easy to turn him from them ; but who would wish 
it ? If a man wanted to shew himself off by getting up and 
riding upon him, he was sure to run restive and kick him 
off: you might as safely have backed Bucephalus, before 
Alexander had lunged him. Neither did he alv/ays like to 
be over-fondled ; when a certain gentleman out-acted his pait 
in this way, he is said to have demanded of him- — " What 
" provokes your risibility. Sir? Have I said any thing that 
" you understand ? — Then I ask pardon of the rest of the 
" company — " But this is Henderson's anecdote of him., and 
I won't swear he did not make it him.self. The following 
apology however I myself drew from him, when speaking of 
his tour I observed to him upon some passages as rather too 
sharp upon a country and people, who had entertained him 
so handsomely—'' Do you think so, Cumbey r" he replied. 
" Then I give you leave to say, and you may quote me for 
" it, that there are more gentlemen in Scotland than there 
*' are shoes. — " 

But I don't relish these sayings, and I am to blame for re- 
tailing them ; we can no more judge of men by these drop- 
pings from their lips, than we can guess at the contents of the 
river Nile by a pitcher of its water. If we were to estimate the 
wise men of Greece by Laertius's scraps of their sayings, 
what a parcel of old women should we account them to have 
been 1 

The expanse of matter v/hich Johnson had found room fcr 
in his intellectual storehouse, the correctness with wnich he 
had assorted it, and the readiness with which he could turn 
to any article that he wanted to make present use of, were 
the properties in kim, which I contempiatcd with the most 
admiration. Soaie have called him a savage; they were 
only so far right in the resemblance, as that, like the savage^ 


he never came into suspicious company without his spear in 
his hand and his bow and quiver at his back. In quickness of 
intellect few ever equalled him, in profundity of erudition ma- 
ny have surpassed him. I do not think lie had a pure and clas- 
sical taste, nor was apt to be best pleased with the best au- 
thors, but as a general scholar he ranks very high. When 
I would have consulted him upon certain points of literature, 
whilst I was making my collections from the Greek drama- 
tists for my essays in The Observer, he candidly acknow- 
ledged that his studies had not lain amongst them, and cer- 
tain it is there is very little show of literature' in his Ramb- 
lers, and in the passage, v/here he quotes Aristotle, he has 
not correctly given the meaning of the original. But this was 
merely the result of haste andinattention,neitheris he so to be 
measured, for he had so many parts and properties of scho- 
larship about him, that you can only fairly review him as a 
man of general knowledge. As a poet his translations of 
Juvenal gave him a name in the world, and gained him the 
applause of Pope. He was a writer of tragedy, but his Irene 
gives him no conspicuous rank in that department. As an 
essayist he merits more consideration ; his Ramblers are in 
every body's hands ; about them opinions vary, and I rather 
believe the style of these essays is not now considered as a 
good model ; this he corrected in his moi'e advanced age, 
as may be seen in his Lives of the Poets, where his diction, 
though occasionally elaborate and highly metaphorical, is 
not nearly so inflated and ponderous, as in the Ramblers. 
He was an acute and able critic ; the enthusiastic admirers 
of Milton and the friends of Gray will have something to 
complain of, but criticism is a task, which no man executes 
to all men's satisfaction. His selection of a certain passage 
in the Mournuig Bride of Congreve, which he extols sc rap- 
turously, is certainly a most unfortunate sample ; but unless 
the oversights of a critic are less pardonable than those of 
other men, we may pass this over in a work of merit, which 
abounds in beauties far more prominent than its defects, and 
much more pleasing to contemplate. In works professedly 
of fancy he is not very copious ; yet in his Rasselas we have 
much to admire, and enough to make us wish for more. It 
is the work of an illuminated mind, and offers many wise and 
deep reflections, clothed in beautiful and harmonious dic- 
tion. We are not indeed familiar with such personages as 
Johnson has imagined for the characters of his fable, but if 


we are not exceedingly interested in their story, we are in- 
finitely gratified with their conversation and remarks, lii 
conclusion, Johnson's sera was not wanting in men to be dis- 
tinguished for their talents, yet if one was to be selected out 
as the first great literary character of the time, I believe all 
voices would concur in naming him. Let me here inserti 
the following lines, descriptive of his character, though^ 
not long since written by me and to be found in a public 


^' On Samuel Jo/mso7i, 
" Herculean strength and a Stentorian voice, 
" Of wit a fund, of words a countless choice : 
'* In learning rather various than profound, 
" In truth intrepid, in religion sound : 
*' A trembling form and a distorted sight, 
** But firm in judgment and in genius bright ; 
" In controversy seldom kno'vm to spare , 
^' But humble as the Publican in prayer ; 
" To more than merited his kindness kind, 
" And, though in manners harsh, of friendly mind ; 
*' Deep ting'd with melancholy's blackest shade, 
" And, though prepar'd to die, of death afraid— 
" Such Johnson was ; of him with justice vain, 
" When win this nation see his like again ?" 
Oliver Goldsmith began at this time to write for the stage, 
and it is to be lamented that he did not begin at an earlier 
period of life to turn his genius to dramatic compositions, 
and much more to be lr/>nented, that, after he had begun, 
the succeeding period of his life was so soon cut off. There 
is no doubt but his genius, when more familiarized to the 
business, would have inspired him to accomplish great 
thing's. His first comedy of 27;^? Good-natured Man was 
read and applauded in its manuscript by Edmund Burke, 
and the circle in which he then lived and moved : under such 
patronage it came with those testimonials to the director of 
Covent Garden theatre, as could not fail to open all the ave 
nues to the stage, and bespeak all the favour and attention 
from the performers and the public, that tlie applauding-^ 
voice of him, whose applause was fame itself, could give it. 
This comedy has enough to justify the good opinion of its, 
literary patron, and secure its author against any loss of re-i 
putation, for it has the stamp of a man of talents upon it,^ 
though its popularity with the audience did not quite keep 


pace -with the expectations, that were grounded on the fiat 
it had antecedently been honoured with. It was a first effort 
however, and did not discourage its ingenious author from 
invoking the Muse a second time. It was now, whilst his 
hxbours were in projection, that I first met him at the British 
Coffee-House, as I have ah^eady related somewhat out of 
place. He dined with us as a visitor, introduced as I think 
by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and we held a consultation upon 
the naming of his comedy, which some of the company had 
read, and which he detailed to the rest after his manner with 
a great deal of good humour. Somebody suggested — She 
Scoo/is to Conquer — and that title was agreed upon. When 
I perceived an embarrassment in his manner towards me, 
which I could readily account for, I lost no time to put him 
at his ease, and I flatter myself I was successful. As my 
heart was ever warm towards my contemporaries, I did not 
counterfeit, but really felt a cordial interest in his behalf, 
and I had soon the pleasure to perceive that he credited me 
for my sincerity—'' You and I," said he, " have very differ- 
" ent motives for resorting to the stage. I write for mo- 
ney, and care little about fame — ." I was touched by this 
melanch:oly confession, and from that moment busied my- 
self assiduously amongst all my connexions in his cause. 
The whxoie company pledged themselves to the support of 
the ingenious poet, and faithfully kept their promise to him. 
In fact he needed all that could be done for him, as Mr. 
Colman, then manager of Covent Garden tlieatre, protested 
against the comedy, when as yet he had not struck upon a 
name for it. Johnson at length stood forth in all his terrors 
as clrampion for tue piece, and backed up by us his clients and 
retainers demanded a fair trial. Colman again protested, but, 
with that salvo for his own reputation, liberally lent his stage 
to one of the most eccentric productions, that ever found 
its way to it, and She Stoojis to Conquer was put into re- 

We were not over-sanguine of success, but perfectly de- 
termined to struggle hard for our author : we accordingly 
assembled our streagth at the Siiakspeare Tavern in a con- 
siderable body for an early dinner, where Samuel Johnson 
took the chair at tiie head of a long tabic, and was the life 
and soul of the corps : the poet took post silently by his side 
with the Burkes, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Fitzherbert, Caleb 
Whitefoord and a phalanx of North-British pre -determined 


applauders, under the banner of Major Mills, all good men 
and true. Our illustrious president was in inimitable glee, 
and poor Goldsmith that day took all his raillery as patiently 
and complacently as my friend Boswell would have done 
any day, or every day of his life. In the mean time w^e did 
not forget our duty, and though we had a better comedy go- 
ing on, in which Johnson was chief actor, we betook ourselves 
in good time to our separate and allotted posts, and waited 
the awful drawing up of the curtain. As our stations were 
pre-concerted, so w^ere our signals for plaudits arranged 
and determined upon in a manner, that gave every one his 
cue where to look for them, and how to follow them up. 

We had amongst us a very worthy and efficient member, 
long since lost to his friends and the world at large, Adam 
Drummond, of amiable memorv, who was gifted by nature 
with the most sonorous, and at the same time the most con- 
tagious, laugh, that ever echoed from the human mngs. 
The neighing of the horse of the son of Hystaspes was a 
whisper to it ; the whole thunder of the theatre could not 
drown it. This kind and ingenious friend fdrly fore-warned 
us that he knew np more when to give his fire than the can- 
non did tliat was planted on a battery. He desired therefore 
to have a flapper at his elbow, and I had the honour to be de- 
puted to that office. I planted him in an upper box, pretty 
nearly over the stage, in full view of the pit and galleries, 
and perfectly well situated to give the echo all its play 
through the hollows and recesses of the theatre. The suc- 
cess of our manoeuvres was complete. All eyes were upo: 
Johnson, who sate in the front row of a side box, and whe: 
he laughed every body thought themselves w^arranted 
roar. In the mean time my friend foiiowed signals with 
rattle so irresistibly comic, that, when he had repeated 
several times, the attention of the spectators w^as so engrosi 
ed by his person and performances, that the progress of thi 
play seemed likely to become a secondary object, and I founi 
it prudent to insinuate to him that he might halt his music 
without any prejudice to the author ; but alas, it wiis now 
too late to rein him in ; he had laughed upon my signal 
where he found no joke, and now unluckily he fancied that 
he found a joke in almost every thing that was said ; so that 
nothing in nature could be more mal-a-propos than some of 
his bursts every now and then were. Tlicse were dangerous 
inomentSj for the pit began to take umbrage ; but we carried 


our play through, and triumphed not only over Colman's 
judgment, but our own. 

As the life of poor Oliver Goldsmith was now fast ap- 
proaching to its period, I conclude my account of him with 
gratitude for the epitaph he bestowed on me in his poem 
called Retaliation, It was upon a proposal started by Ed- 
mund Burke, that a party of friends who had dined together 
at Sir Joshua Reynolds's and my house, should meet at the 
St. James's Coffee-House, which accordingly took place, and 
was occasionally repeated with much festivity and good fel- 
lowship. Dr. Bernard, Dean of Derry, a very amiable and 
old friend of mine, Dr. Douglas, since Bishop of Salisbury, 
Johnson, David Garrick, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Oliver Gold- 
smith, Edmund and Richard Burke, Hickey, with two or 
three others constituted our party. At one of these meet- 
ings an idea was suggested of extemporary epitaphs upon the 
parties present ; pen and ink were called for, and Gariick 
off* hand wrote an epitaph with a good deal of humour upon 
poor Goldsmith, who was the first in jest, as he proved to be 
in reality, that we committed to the grave. The dean also 
gave him an epitaph, and sir Joshua illuminated the dean's 
verses with a sketch of his bust in pen and ink, inimitably ca.- 
ricatured. Neither Johnson nor Burke wrote any thing, 
and when I perceived Oliver was rather sore, and seemed 
to watch me v/ith that kind of attention, w^iich indicated his 
expectation of something in the same kind of burlesque with 
their's. I thought it time to press the joke no further, and 
wrote a few couplets at a side-table, which when I had finish- 
ed and v/as called upon by the company to exhibit, Gold- 
smith with much agitation besought me to spare him, and I 
was about to tear them, when Johnson wrested thera out of 
my hand, and in a loud voice read them at the table. I have 
now lost all recollection of them, and in fact they were little 
worth remembering, but as they were serious and compli- 
mentary, the effect they had upon Goldsmith was the more 
pleasing for being so entirely unexpected. The concluding 
line, which is the only one I can call to mind, was — 

" All mourn the poet, I lament the man—." 

This I recollect, because he repeated it several times, and 
seemed much gratified by it. At our next meeting he pro- 
duced his epitaphs as they stand in the little posthumous po- 


em above-mentioned, and this was the last time he ever en- 
jcycd the company of his friends. 

As he had served up the company under the similitude of 
various sorts of meat, I had in the mean time figured them 
under that of liquors, which little poem I rather think was 
printed, but of this I am not sure. Goldsmith sickened and 
died, and we had one concluding meeting at my house, when 
it was decided to publish his Retaliation, and Johnson at the 
same time undertook to write an epitaph for our lamented 
friend, to whom we proposed to erect a monument by sub- 
scription in Westminster-Abbey. This epitaph Johnson ex- 
ecuted ; but in the criticism, that was attempted against it, 
and in the Round-Robin signed at Mr. Beauclerc's house I 
had no part. I had no acquaintance with that gentlemati, and 
w^as never in his house in my life. 

Thus died Oliver Goldsmith in his chambers in the Tem- 
ple at a period of life, when his genius was yet in its vigour, 
and fortune seemed disposed to smile upon him. I have heard 
Dr. Johnson relate with infinite humour the circumstance of 
his rescuing him from a ridiculous dilemma by the purchase 
money of his Vicar of Wakefield, which he sold on his behalf 
to Dodsley, and, as I think, for the sum of ten pounds only. 
He had run up a debt with his landlady for boarding and lodg- 
ing of some few pounds, and was at his wit's end how to wipe 
off the score and keep a roof over his head, except by closing 
with a very staggering proposal on her part, and taking his 
creditor to wife, whose charms were very far from alluring, 
v/hiist her demands were extremely urgent. In this crisis 
of his fate he was found by Johnson in the act of meditating 
on the melancholy alternative before him. He shewed John- 
son his manuscript of The Vicar of Wakefield, but seemed 
to be without any plan, or even hope, of raising money upon 
the disposal of it ; when Johnson cast his eye upon it, be dis- 
covered something that gave him hope, and immediately 
took it to Dodsley, who paid down the price above-mentioned 
in ready money, and added an eventual condition upon its 
future sale. Johnson descrij^ed the precautions he took in 
concealing the amount of the sum he had in hand, which he 
prudently administered to him by a guinea a.t atime. In the 
event he paid off the landlady's score, and redeemed the per- 
son of his friend from her embraces. Goldsmith had the joy 
of finding his ingenious work succeed beyond his hopes, and 
from that time began to place a confidence in the resources o^^ 


his talents, which thenceforward enabled him to keep his 
station in society, and cultivate the friendship of many emi- 
nent persons, who, whilst they smiled at his eccentricities, 
esteemed him for his genius and good qualities. 

My father had hten translated to the see of Kilmore, 
which placed him in a more civilized country, and lodged 
liimin a more comfortable house. I continued my yearly 
visits, and again went'over to IrelaJid with ptut of my family, 
and passed my whole stimmer recess at Kilmore. i liad 
with unspeakable regret pexceived some symptoms of an 
alarming nature about him, which seemed to indicate the 
breaking up of a most excellent constitution, which, nursed 
by temperance and regularity, had hitherto been blest with 
such an uninterrupted course of health, that he had never 
through his whole life been confined a single day to his bed, 
except when he had the small pox in his childhood. In all 
his appetites and passions he was the most moderate of men « 
ever cheerful in nis family and with his friends, but never 
yielding to the slightest excess. My mother in the mean 
time had been gradually sinking into a state of extreme de- 
bility and loss of health, and I plainly saw that my father's 
ceaseless agitation and anxiety on her account had deeply 
affected his constitution. He had flattered me with the 
hope that he would attempt a journey to England with her, 
and in that expectation, when my time was expired, 1 pain- 
fully took leave of him-~«and, alas ! never saw him, or my 
mother, more 

In the winter of that same year, whilst I was at Bath by ad- 
vice for my own health, I received the first afflicting intelli- 
gence of his death from Primate Robinson, who loved him 
truly and lamented him most sincerely. This sad event was 
speedily succeeded by the death of my mother, whose vreak 
and exhausted frame sunk under the blow : those senses so 
acute, and that mind so richly endowed, v/ere in an instant 
taken from her, and after languishing in that melancholy 
state for a short but distressful period, she followed him to 
the grave. 

Thus was I bereft of father and mother without the consc- 
lation of having paid them the last mournful duties of a son. 
One surviving sister, the best and most benevolent of hu- 
man beings, attended them in their last moments, and per- 
formed those duties, which my hard fortune would not suffer 
»ie to share. 


In a small patch of ground, enclosed with stone walls, ad- 
joining to the church-yard of Kilniore, but not within the 
pale of the consecrated ground, my father's corpse was in- 
terred beside the grave of the venerable and exemplary Bi- 
shop Bedel. This little spot, as containing the remains of 
that good and great man, my father had fenced and guarded 
with particular devotion, and he had more than once pointed 
it out to me as his destined grave, saying to m.e, as I well 
remember, in the words of the Old prophet of Bethel, 
^' When I am dead, then bury me in this sepulchre, where- 
" in the man of God is buried ; lay my bones beside his 
<^ bones — .'' This injunction was exactly fulfilled, and the 
Protestant Bishop of Kilmore, the mild friend of mankind^ 
the impartial benefactor and unprejudiced protector of his 
Catholic poor, who almost adored him whilst living, w^as not 
permitted to deposit his remains within the precincts of his 
own church-yard, though they howled over his grave, and 
rent the air with their savage lamentations. 

Thus, whilst their carcases monopolise the consecrat- 
ed ground, his bones and the bones of Bedel made sacred the 
unblest soil, in which they moulder ; but whilst I believe 
and am persuaded, that his incorruptible is received into bliss 
eternal, what concerns it me where his corruptible is laid ? 
The corpse of my lamented lYiother, the instructress of 
my youth, the friend and charm of my maturer years, is de- 
posited by his side. 

My father's patronage at Kilmore was very considerable, 
and this he stiictly bestowed upon the clergy of his diocese, 
promoting the curates to the smaller livings, as vacancies 
occurred, and exacting from every man, whom he put into 
a living, where there was no parsonage-house, a solemn 
promise to build ; but I am sorry to say that in no single in- 
stance was that promise fulfilled ; which breach of faith 
gave him great concern, and in the cases of some particular 
friends, whom he had promoted in full persuasion of their 
keeping faith with him, afflicted him very sensibly, as I had 
occasion to know and lament. The opportunities be had of 
benefiting his fortune and family by fines, and the lapse of 
leases, which might have been considerable, he honourably 
declined to avail himself of, for when he had tendered his 
renewals upon the most moderate terms, and these had been 
delayed or rejected in his days of health, he peremtorily 
withstood their offers, when he found liis life was hastening 


to its period, esteeming it according to his high sense of ho- 
nour not perfectly fair to his successor to take what he call- 
ed the packing-penny, and sweep clean before his depar- 
ture. He left his see therefore much more valuable 
than he found it by this liberal and disinterested conduct, 
by which it was natural to hope he had secured to his execu- 
tors the good offices and assistance of his successor in reco- 
vering the outstanding arrears due to his survivors-: — ^but in 
that hope we were shamefully disappointed; neither these 
arrears, nor even his legal demands for monies expended on 
improvements, bcaeficial to the demesne, and regularly cer- 
tified by his diocesan, could be recovered by me for my sis- 
ter's use till the Lord Primate took the cause in hand, and 
enforced the sluggish and unwilling satisfaction from the bi- 
shop, who succeeded him. 

Previous to these unhappy events I had written my fourth 
comedy of The Choleric Man^ and left it with Mr. Garrick 
for representation. Whilst I was at Bath the rehearsals were 
going on, and the play was brought upon the stage during 
my absence. It succeeded to the utmost of my v/ishes, but 
when I perceived that the malevolence of the public prints 
suffered no abatement, aud saw myself charged with having 
vented contemptuous and illiberal speeches in the theatre, 
where I couid not have been, against productions of my 
contemporaries, which I had neither heard nor seen, galled 
with such false and cruel aspersions, which, undcrthe pres- 
sure of my recent losses and misfortunes, fell on me with 
accumulated asperity, I was induced to retort upon my de- 
famers, and accordingly prefixed to the printed copy of my 
comedy a Dedication to Detraction^ in which I observe that 
" lii-health and other melancholy attentions, which I need 
not explain; kept me at a distance from the scene of its de- 
cision — " The chief object of this dedication was directed 
to a certain tract then in some degree of circulation, entitled 
An Essay on the Theatre^ in wiiich the writer professes to 
draw a comparison bettveen laughing and &e7itimental Comedy^ 
and under the latter description partkularly points his ob» 
servations ^tthQ Fashionable Lover. There is no occasion 
for me to' speak further of this dedication, as it is attached to 
the comedy, whicn is yet in print, except to observe that I 
can still repeat with truth what I there assert to my imagi-^ 
nary patron, that " I can take my conscience ta witness. I 
have paid him no sacrifice, devoted no time or study ta his 


service, nor am a man in any respect qualified to repay his 
favours — '* 

Garrick wrote the epilogue to this comedy, as he also did 
that to the West-Indian, and Mrs. Abington spoke it. That 
charming actress was now at the height of her fame, and 
performed the part of Laetitia in a style, that gave great sup- 
port to the representation. The two brothers, formed upon 
the plan of Terence's Adelphi, were well cast between Mr. 
King and Mr. Aicken, and Western personated Jack Night- 
shade with inimitable humour. The chief effect in this play 
is produced by the strong contrast of character between Man- 
love and the Choleric Man, and again with more comic force 
between Charles the courtly gentleman and Jack the rustic 
booby, who at the first meeting with his brother exclaims—- 
'' Who wou'd think you and I were whelps of the^same 
breed ? You are as sleek as my lady's lap-dog, I am rough as 
a water-spaniel, be-daggled and be-rnired, as if I had come 
•out of the fens with wild fowl ; why, I have brought off as 
much soil upon my boots only as would set up a Norfolk far- 
mer — " 

It was observed of this comedy that the spirit of the two 
first acts was not kept up through 4hc concluding three, and 
the general sense of the public was said to confirm this re- 
mark, therefore I presume it is true. It was a successful 
play in its time, though it has not been so often before the 
public as any of the three, which preceded it, and since Wes- 
ton's decease it has been consigned to the shelf. If ever ^ 
there shall be found an editor of my dramatic works as an 
entire collection, this comedy will stand forward as one of the 
most prominent amongst them. The plot indeed is not: 
original, but the characters are humourously contrasted, and ^ 
there is point and spirit in the dialogue. Such as it is, it was * 
the fourth produced in four succeeding seasons, and if I - 
acquired any small share of credit by these which preceded ^: 
it, I did not forfeit it by the publication of this. To this come- ' 
dy I appositely affixed the following motto from Piautus — t 

Jam instcec insitiientia est 
Sic irai/i in Jirom/itu gerere. 

In the autumn of this year I made a tour in company with 
fny friend the Earl of Warwick to the Lakes in Cumber- 
land. He took with him Mr. Smith, well known to the pub* 


lie for his elegant designs after nature in Switzerland, Italy, 
and elsewhere ; my noble friend himself is a master in the 
art of drawing and designing landscapes in a bold and strik- 
ing character, of which our tour afforded a vast variety. — 
Whilst we passed a few days at Keswick, I hastily com- 
posed an irregular ode, " which was literally struck 
out on the spot, and is addressed to the Sun ; for as 
the season was advancing towards winter, we had frequent 
temptations to invoke that luminary, who was never very 
gracious to our suit, except whilst we were viewing the lake 
of Keswick and its accompaniments." 

With this invocation my ode commences ^ 

" Soul of the world, refulgent Sun, 

" Oh, take not from my ravish'd sight 

*' Those golden beams of living light, 

" Nor ere thy daily course be run 
" Precipitate the night. 

" Lo, where the ruffian clouds arise, 

" Usurp the abdicated skies, 

" And seize th' setherial throne ; 

*' Sullen sad the scene appears, 

'^ Huge Hclvellyn streams w4th tears ; 

*' Hark ! 'tis giant Skiddaw's groan ; 

^ I hear terrific Laivdoor roar ; 

*' The sabbath of thy reign is o'er, 
" The anarchy's begun. 
" Father of light, return ; break forth, refulgent Sun !'^ 

This Ode, with one addressed to Doctor James, was 
published and sold by Mr. Robson in New Bond-street in 
the year 1776, and is I believe to be found in the Tour to 
the Lakes. The Ode to Doctor Robert James was suggest- 
ed by the recovery of my second son from a dangerous fe- 
ver, effectec^ under Providence by his celebrated powders. 
I am tempted to insert the following short extract, descrip- 
tive of the person of Death ^ 

'^ On his pale steed erect the monarch stands, 
" His dirk and javelin glittering in his hands : 
" This from a distance deals th' ignoble blow, 
'' And that dispatches the resisting foe : 
" Whilst all beneath him, as lie flies, 
" Dire are the tossings, deep tl^e cries, 
" The landscape darkens and the season dies^ — /* 
t:fc, is'c. 


These Odes I addressed to Mr. George Romney, then 
lately returning from pursuing his studies at Rome. 

The next piece that I presented to the stage under the 
management of Mr. Garrick was Timon of Athens^ altered.! 
from Shakspeare, to which I prefixed the following Adver- ; 
tisement, when it was published by Becket— 

" I wish I could have brought this play upon the stage 
with less violence to its author, and not so much responsi- 
bility on my own part. New characters of necessity require 
some display. Many original passages of the first merit 
are still retained, and in the contemplation of them my errors 
I hope will be overlooked or forgiven. In examining the 
brilliancy of a diamond fow people throw away any remarks 
upon the dulness of the foil — ." Barry played the part of 
Timon, and Mrs. Barry that of Evan the, which was engraft- ' 
ed on the original for the purpose of writing up the charac- 
ter of Alcibiades, in which a young actor of the name of 
Crofts made his first appearance on the stage. As the en- 
tire part of Evanthe, and with a very few exceptions the 
whole of Alcibiades are new, the author of this alteration 
has much to answer for, and much it behoved him to make 
his new matter harmonize with the old ; with what degree 
of success this is done it scarce becomes me to say ; the 
public approbation seemed to sanction the attempt at the 
first production of the play, the neglect, with which the 
stage has passed it over since, disposes us to draw conclu- 
sions less in favour of its merit. 

As few, who read these memoirs, have ever met, or pro- 
bably ever will meet with this altered play, which is now 
out of print, I trust that such at least will forgive me if I ex- 
tract a short specimen from my owti new matter in the se- 
cond act-— 

" Act 2. Scene 3. 
'• JLucullus cind Lucius, 
JLucuL — ^' How now, my Lord ; in private ? 
Luc, — " Yes, I thought so, 

" Till an unwelcome intermeddling Lord 
" Stept in and ask'd the question. 
Lucul, — " What, in anger ! 

" By heav'ns I'll gall him ! for he stands before me^ 
" In the broad sunshine of Lord Timon'sbouiity, 
" And throws my better merits into shade. {^Aside^ 
Luc^~^^ Now would I kill him if I durst. [^Adde. 


LucuL — " Methinks 

" You look but coldly. What has cross'd your suit t 
" Alas, poor Lucius ! but I read your fate 
" In that unkind-one's frown. 

Luc, — " No doubt, my Lord, 

" You, that receive them ever, are well vers'd 
*' In the unkind-one's frowns : as the clear stream 
" Reflects your person, so may you espy 
" In the sure mirror of her scornful brow 
" The clouded picture of your own despair. 

LiicuL — ^^ Come, you presume too far ; talk not thus idly 
" To me, who know you. 

Luc. — " Know me ? 

LucuL — " Aye, who know you. 

" For one, that courses up and down on errands, 
" A stale retainer at Lord Tinion's table ; 
*' A man grown great by making legs and cringes, 
" By winding round a wanton spendthrift's heart, 
" And gulling him at pleasure — Now do I know you ? 

Luc, — " Gods, must I bear this ? bear it from Lucuilus ? 

" I, who first brought thee to Lord Timon's stirrup, 

*' Set thee in sight and breath'd into thine ear 

" The breath of hope ? What hadst thou been, in- 

" grateful, 
" But that I took up Jove's imperfect work, 
" Gave thee a shape and made thee into man ? 
" Alcibiades to them, 

Alcih, — " What, wrangling, my Lords, like hungry curs for 
" crusts ? 
" Away with this unmanly war of words ! 
" Pluck forth your shining rapiers from their shells, 
" And level boldly at each other's hearts. 
" Hearts did I say ? Your hearts are gone from 

" home, 
" And hid in Timon's coffers — Fie upon it ! 

Luc, — " My Lord Lucuilus, 1 shall find a time. 

Alcib, — " Hah ! find a time 1 the brave make time and place. 
" Gods, gods, what things are men I you'll find a 

" time? 
" A time for what ? — To murder him in 's sleep ? 
" The man who wrongs me, at the altar's foot 
" I'll seize, yea, drag him from the sheltering xgis 
^■^ Of stern Minerva. 


Luc — -." Aye ; 'tis your profession. 
jilcil) — « Down on your knees and thank the gods for that, 
" Or woe for Athens, were it left to such 
" As you are to defend. Do ye not hate 
" Each other heartily ? Yet neither dares 
" To bear his trembling falchion to the sun. 
" How tame they dangle on your coward thighs ! 
LucuL — " We are no soldiers, Sir. 
Mcib. — " No, ye are Lords : 

" A lazy, proud, unprofitable crew : 
" The vermin gender'd from the rank corruption 
" Of a luxurious state — No soldiers, say you ? 
" And w^herefore are ye none ? Have you not life, 
" Friends, honour, freedom, country to defend ? 
" He, that hath these, by nature is a soldier, 
" And, when he wields his sword in their defence, 
" Instinctively fulfils the end he lives for — ." 
^c. U'c. 

When Moody from the excellence of his acting in the, 
part of Major O'Flaherty, became the established performer 
of Irish characters, I wrote in compliance with his wishes 
another Hibernian upon a smaller scale, and composed the 
entertainment of l^he A^ote of Hand^ or Trip, to Kcivmarket^ 
which w^as the last piece of my writing which Mr. GaiTick 
produced upon his stage before he disposed of his property 
in Drury-lane theatre, and withdrew from business. 

During my residence at Bath I had been greatly pleased 
with the performance of the part of Sliylock by Mr. Hen- 
derson, and, upon conversing with him, found that his! 
wishes strongly pointed to an engagement, if that could be 
obtained, at Drury-lane, then under the direction of Mr,' 
Garrick. When I had seen him in different characters, an(^ 
became confirmed in my opinion of his merit, I warmly re- 
commended him to Mr. Garrick, and was empowered ta 
contract for his engagement upon terms, tliat to my judg- 
ment, and that of other intermediate friends, appeared to ba 
extremely reasonable. At first I conceived the negociation, 
as good as concluded, but some reports, that ratlier clashed 
with mine, rendered Mr. Garrick cool in the business, and: 
disposed to consult other opinions as to Mr. Henderson's 
abilities ; and amongst these he seemed greatly to depend 
upon his brother George's judgment, whose report was by. 
no means of the same sanguine complexion with mine. 


Poor George had come to Bath in a lamentable state of 
health, and must have seen Henderson with distempered 
eyes to err so egregiously as he did in his account of him. 
It proved however in the upshot decisive against my ad- 
vice, and after a languishing negociation, which got at length 
into other hands than mine, Garrick made the transfer of his 
property in the theatre without the name of Henderson up- 
on the roll of his performers. Truth obliges me to say that 
the negociation in all parts and passages was not creditable 
to Mr. Garrick, and left impressions on the mind of Hender- 
son, that time did not speedily wear out. He had wit, infi- 
nite pleasantry and inimitable powers of mimickry, which he 
felt himself privileged to employ, and employed only too 
successfully. The season of the winter theatres passed 
over, and when the Hay market house opened, Hendei'son 
came from Bath with all the powers of his genius on the 
alert, and upon the summer stage fully justified every thing 
that I and others had said of him through the winter, and 
established himself completely in the public favour. A 
great resort of men of talents nov/ flocked around him ; the 
tov/n considered him as a man injuriously rejected, and 
though, when they imputed it to envy I am sure tliey were 
mistaken, yet when Garrick found that by lending his ear to 
foolish opinions, and quibbling about terms, he had missed 
the credit of engaging the best actor of the time, himself 
excepted, it is not to be wondered at if the praise, bestowed 
on Henderson's performances, was not tlie most agreeable 
topic, that coukLbe chosen for his entertainment. He could 
not indeed ;dways avoid hearing these applauses, but he did 
not hold himself obliged to second them, and wlien curio- 
sity drew him to the summer theatre to see Henderson in 
the part of ^hylock, he said nothing in his dispraise, but he 
discovered great merit in Tubals which of course had been 
the cast of some second-rate performer. 

Henderson in the mean time was transferred from the 
Hiiymarket theatre to Drury-lane, under the direction of 
Mr. Sheridan, where I brought out my tragedy of The Bat- 
tle of HaschigSy in which he played the part of Edgar Athe- 
ling, not indeed Avith the happiest effect, for he did not pos- 
sess the graces of person or deportment, and as that charac- 
ter demanded both, an actor might have been found, who 
with inferior abilities would have been a fitter representative 
of it. As for the play itself, it w^ published and is to be 


found in more collections than one ; its readers will proba< 
biy be of opinion, that it is better written than planned ; a 
judgment to which I shall most readily submit, not only inj 
this instance but in several others. 

About this time died the Earl of Halifax. He had filled 
the high stations of First Lord of Trade and Plantations,^ 
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Principal Secretary of State, 
First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Lieutenant of the county 
of Northampton, and Knight of the Garter! He had no son, 
and his title is extinct. His fine mansion and estate of Stan- 
sted, left to hini by Mr. Lumley, was sold after his decease. 
I saw him in his last illness, when his constitution was an 
absolute wreck : I was subpoena'd to give evidence on this- 
point before the Lord Chief Justice Mansfield, and accord- 
ing to my conscience deposed what was my opinion of his 
hopeless state ; his physician Sir Noah Thomas, whose 
professional judgment had justly more authority and influ- 
ence than mine, by his deposition superseded mine, and the; 
death of his patient very shortly after contradicted his. I 
never knew that man, whose life, if circumstantially detail-' 
ed, would furnish a more striking moral and a more tragicalj 
catastrophe. Nature endowed him liberally with her gifts,; 
Fortune showered her favours profusely upon him, Provi-: 
dence repeatedly held forth the most extraordinary vouch 
safements — What a mournful retrospection ! I am not 
bound to dwell upon it. I turn from it with horror. 

A brighter scene now meets me, for v/hilst I was yet a 
subaltern in the Board of Trade, uncomfortably executing 
the office of clerk of the reports, by the accession of Lord 
George Germain to the seals for the colonial department I 
had a new principal to look up to. I had never been in a 
room with him in my life, except during his trial at the 
Horse-Guards for the affair of Minden, which I attended 
through the whole of its progress, and regularly reported 
what occurred to Mr. Dodington, who was then out of 
town ; some of his letters I preserved, but of my own, ac- 
cording to custom, I took no copies. When Lord George 
liad taken tlie seals, I asked my friend Colonel James Cun- 
ningham totake^me v/ith him to Pail-Mall, which he did, 
and the ceremony of paying my respects v/as soon dismiss- 
ed. I confess I thought my new chief was quite as cold in 
his manner as a minister need be, and rather more so than 
my intermediate friend had given me reason to expect, I 


was now livini^in great intimacy with the Duke of Dorset, 
and asked him to do me that grace with his uncle, which the 
honour of being acknowledged by him as his friend would 
naturally have obtained for me. This I am confident he 
would readily have done but for reasons, v/hich precluded all 
desire on my part to say another word upon the business. I 
was therefore left to make my own way with a perfect stran- 
ger, whilst I was in actual negociation v/ith Mr. Pownall for 
the secretaryship, and had understood Lord Clare to be 
friendly to our treaty in the very moment when he ceased 
to be our first lord, and the power of accommodating us in 
our wishes was shifted from his hands into those of Lord 
George. I considered it therefore as an opportunity gone 
by, and entertained no further hopes of succeeding. A very 
short time sufficed to confirm the idea I had entertained of 
Lord George's cha.racter for decision and dispatch in busi- 
ness : there was at once an end to all our circumlocutory re- 
ports and inefficient forms, that had only impeded business, 
^nd substituted ambiguity for precision : there was (as Wil- 
liam Gerard Hamilton, speaking of Lord George, truly ob- 
served to me) no trash in his mind ; he studied no choice 
phrases, no superfluous words, nor ever suffered the clear- 
ness of his conceptions to be clouded by the obscurity of his 
expressions, for these were the simplest and most unequi* 
vocal that could be made use of for explaining his opinions, 
or dictating his instructions. In the meanwhile he vras so 
momentarily punctual to his time, so religiously observant 
of his engagements, that we, who served under him in office, 
felt the sweets of the exchange we had so lately made in the 
person of our chief. 

I had now no other prospect but that of serving in my 
_ subordinate situation under an easy master with security and 
comfort, for as I was not flattered v/ith the show of any no- 
tices from him but such as t might reasonably expect, I 
built no hopes upon his favour, nor allov/ed myself to think I 
was in any train of succeeding in my treaty with our secre- 
tary for his office ; and as I had reason to believe he was 
equally happy with myself in serving under such a princi- 
pal, I took for granted he would move no further in the bu- 

One day, as Lord George was leaving the office, he stopt 
me on the outside of the door, at the head of the stairs, and 
invited me to pass some days with kim and his family al 


Stoneland near Tunbridge Wells. It was on my part so un= 
expected, that I doubted if I had rightly understood him, as 
he spoke in a low and submitted voice, as his manner was, 
and I consulted his confidential secretary Mr. Doyley, whe- 
ther he would advise me to the journey. He told me that 
he knew the house was filled from top to bottom with a large 
party, that he was sure there would be no room for me, and 
dissuaded me from the undertaking. I did not quite follow 
his advice by neglecting to present myself, but I resolved to 
secure my retreat to Tunbridge Wells, and kept my chaise 
in waiting to make good my quarters. When I arrived at 
Stoneland I was met at the door by Lord George, who soon 
discovered the precaution I had taken, and himself conduct- 
ing me to my bed-chamber, told me it had been reserved 
for me, and ever after would be set apart as mine, where he 
hoped I would consent to find myself at home. This was 
the I had esteemed so cold, and thus was I at once in- 
troduced to the commencement of a friendship, which day 
by day improved, and which no one v/ord or action of his 
life to coine ever for an instant interrupted or diminished. 

Shortly after this it came to his knowledge that there had 
been a treaty between Mr. Pownall and me for his resigna- 
tion of the place of Secretary, and he asked me what had 
passed ; I told him how it stood, and what the conditions 
were, that my superior in office expected for the accommo- • 
dation. I had not yet mentioned this to him, and probably 
never should. He said he would take it into his own hands, 
and in a few days signified the king's pleasure that Mr. Pow- 
nall's resignation was accepted, and that I should succeed 
hiui as Secretary in clear and full enjoyment of the place, 
without any compensation whatsoever. Thus was I, beyond 
all hope and without a word said to me, that could lead me 
to expect a favour of that sort, promoted by surprise to a 
very advantageous and desirable situation. I came to my \ 
office at the hour appointed, not dreamhig of such an event, 
and took my seat at the adjoining table, when, Mr. Pownall 
being called out of the room, Lord George turned round to 
me and bade me take his chair at the bottom of the table, an- 
nouncing to the Board his majesty's commands, as above re- 
cited, with a positive prohibition of all stipulations. When 
I had endeavoured to express myself as properly on the oc- 
casion, as my agitated state of spirits would allow of, I re- 
member Lord Geor8:e made answer, " That if I was as well 


pleased upon receiving his majesty's commands, 'as he was 
in being the bearer of them, I was indeed very happy." — If 
I served him truly, honestly and ardently ever after, till T 
followed him to the grave, where is my merit ? How could 
I do otherwise ? 

The conflict in America was now raging at its height ; that 
was a business out of my office to be concerned in, and I wil- 
lingly pass it over ; but it was in my way to knov/ the effects it 
had upon the anxious spirit of my friend,and very much it was 
both my wish ?j\d my endeavour by every means in my capa- 
city to be helpful at those hours, which were necessary for his 
relaxation, and take to my share as many of those burthen- 
some and vexatious concerns, as without intrusion upon 
other people's offices I could relieve him from. All that I 
could I did, and as I was daily with him, and never out of 
call, I reflect with comfort, that there were occasions when 
my zeal v\^as not unprofitably exerted for his alleviation and 
repose. I might say more, for those were trying and un- 
quiet times. It is not a very safe or enviable predicament to 
be marked out for a known attachment to an unpopular cha- 
racter, and be continually under arms to turn out and en- 
counter the prejudices of mankind. Tliere is a middle kind 
of way, which some men can hit off, between doing all and 
doing nothing, which saves appearances and satisfies easy 
consciences ; but some consciences are not so easily sat- 

I had now four sons at Westminster-school boarding at 
one house, and my two daughters coming into the world, so 
that the accession to my circumstances, which my promo- 
tion in office gave me, put me greatly at my ease, and ena- 
bled me to press their education with advantage. My eldest 
son Richard went through Westminster with the reputation 
of an excellent school-scholar, and I admitted him of Trin- 
ity College, but in one of his vacations having prevailed 
with me to let him volunteer a cruize with Sir Charles Har- 
dy, then commander of the home fleet, the rage of service 
seized him, and by his importunity I may say in the words 
of Polonius he wrung from vie my slmv leave to let him enter 
himself an ensign in the first regiment of foot-guards. This 
at once gave fire to the train, and the three remaining heroes 
breathed nothing but war : my second boy George took to 
the sea, and sailed for America ; my third Charles enrolled 
himself an ensign in the tenth, and my youngest William 


disposed of himself as my second had done, and also took his 
departure for America under the command of the late Sir 
Richard Kughes. 

I had been dispossessed of my delightful residence at Ty- 
ringham, near to which Mr. Praed, the present possessor, 
lias now built a splendid mansion, and I had taken a house at 
Tetworth in Bedfordshire to be near my kind and ever hon- 
oured friend Lady Frances Burgoync, sister to Lord Hali- 
fax. Here I passed the summer recesses, and in one of 
these I wrote the Opera of Calyfiso^ for the purpose of intro- 
ducing to the public the compositions of Mr. Butler, then a 
young man, newly returned from Italy, where he had stu- 
died under Piccini, and given early proofs of his. genius. 
He passed the summer with me at Tetworth, and there he 
Vv^'ote the music for Calypso in the style of a serious opera. 
Calypso was brought out at Covent«Garden, but that theatre 
v/as not by any means possessed of such a strength of vocal 
performers, as have of late years belonged to it. Mrs. Ken- 
nedy in the part of Telemachus, and Leoni in that of Pro- 
teus, were neither of them very eminently qualified to grace 
the action of an opera, yet as that was a consideration sub- 
ordinate to the music, it was to them that Mr. Butler ad- 
dressed his chief attention, and looked up for his support. 
I believe I may venture to say that more beautiful and ori- 
ginal compositions were never presented to the English 
stage by a native master, though I am not unmindful of the 
fame of Artaxerxes ; but Calypso, supported only by Leoni 
and Mrs. Kennedy, did not meet success proportioned to its 
merit, and I should humbly conceive upon the same stage, 
which has since been so powerfully mounted by Braham, 
Incledon and Storace, it might have been revived with bril- 
liant eiTect. Why Mr. Butler did not publish his music, or 
a selection at least of those airs, which were most applaud- 
ed, I cannot tell ; but so it was, and the score now remains 
in the depot of Covent Garden, whilst a few only of the 
songs, and those in manuscript, are in the possession of my 
second daughter Sophia, whom he instructed in singing, 
and with the aid of great natural talents on her part, accom- 
plished her very highly. Calypso as a drama has been pub- 
lished, therefore of, my share in it as an opera I need not say 
much ; it is before the reader, but I confess I lament that 
music, which I conceive to be so exquisitely beautiful, 
should be buried in oblivion. Mr. Butler has been lonr^ 


since settled at Edinbnrg-h as a teacher and writer of music, 
and is well known to the performers and admirers of 
that art. 

That I may not aii^ain recur to my dramatic connexions 
with this ingenious composer, I will here observe that in the 
following season I wrote a comic opera, which I entitled The 
IVidow o/Delfihi, or The Descent of the Deities^the songs of 
which he set to n. usic. Mr. Butler published a selection of 
songs, &c. from this opera, but as I was going out of England 
I did not send my copy to the press, and having now had it 
many years in my hands by the frequent revisions and cor- 
rections, which I have had opportunities of giving to this 
manuscript, I am encouraged to believe that if I, or any af- 
ter me, shall send it into the world, this drama will be 
considered as one of my most classical and creditable pro- 

Having adverted to the happiness and honour, which I en~ 
joyed in the friendship of Lady Frances Burgoync, it occurs 
to me to relate the part, which at her request I undertook, in 
the behalf of the unfortunate Robert Perrcau, when under trial ^ 
for his life. The defence, which he read at the bar, was to a 
word drawn up by me, under the revision of his council Mr. , 
Dunning, who did not change a syllable. I dined with Gar- 
rick on the very day when Robert Perreau had delivered it 
in court ; there was a large company, and he was expatiat- 
ing upon the effect of it, for he had been present ; he even 
detailed the heads of it with considerably accuracy, and Was 
so rapturous in his praises of it, that he predicted confidently, 
though not truly, that the man, who drew up that defence, 
had saved the prisoner's life, and what would he not give to 
know who it wa,s ? I confess my vanity v/as strongly moved to 
tell him ; but he shortly after found it out, and perhaps re- 
pented of his hyperboles, for it was not good policy in him to 
over-praise a writer for the stage . When poor Dodd fell un- 
der the like misfortune, he applied to me in the first instance 
for the like good offices, but as soon as I understood that 
application had been made to Doctor Johnson, and that he was 
about to be taken under his shield, I did what every other 
friend to the unhappy would have done, consigned him to 
the stronger advocate, convinced that if the powers of John- 
son could not move mercy to reach his lamentable case, 
there was no further hope in man ; his penitence alone couMi 
save hiiiiv 


I had knovvTi Sir George Brydges Rodney in early life, and 
whilst he was residing- in France, pending the uneasy state 
of his affairs at home, had spared no pains to serve his inte- 
rest and pave the way for his return to his own country, where 
I was not Vvithout hopes by the recommendation of Lord 
George Germain to pmcure him an employment worthy of 
his talents and high station in the navy. I drew up from his; 
minutes a memorial of his services, and petitioned for em- 
ploy : he came home at the risque of his liberty to refute 
some malicious imputations, that had been glanced at his 
character : this he effectually and honourably accomplished, 
and I was furnished with testimonials very creditable to him 
as an officer ; his situation in the meanwhile was very uncom- 
fortable and his exertions circumscribed, yet in this pressure 
of his affairs, to mark his readiness and zeal for service, he- 
addressed a letter to the king, tendering himself to serve as 
volunteer under an admiral, then going out, who, if I do not 
mistake, was his junior on the list. In this forlorn unfriended 
state, v/ith nothing but exclusion and despair before his eyes, 
when not a ray of hope beamed upon him from the admi- 
ralty, and he dared not set a foot beyond the limits of his pri- 
vilege, I had the happy fortune to put in train that statement 
of his claim for service and employ, which through the im- 
mediate application oi Lord George, taking all the responsi- 
bility on himself, obtained for that adventurous and gallant 

^ admiral the command of that squadron, which on its passage 
to the Vv est-Indies naade capture of the Spanish fieet fitted 
out for the Garaccas. The degree of gratification which I 
then experienced, is not easily to be described. It was not 
only that of a triumph gained, but of a terror dismissed, for 
the West India merchants had been alarmed and clamoured 
against the appointment so generally and so decidely as ta 
Occasion no small uneasiness to my friend and patron, and 
drew from him something, that resembled a remonstrance 
for the risque I had exposed him to. But in the brilliancy; 
of this exploit allwas done away, and past alarms were only 
recollected to contrast the joy which this success diffused. 

Here I hope to be forgiven if I record an answer of Lord 
George Germain's to an officious gentleman, who upon some 
reference tome in his concerns expressed himself with sur- 
prise at the degree of influence vv^iich I appeared to have— - 
*' You are very right," replied my friend, ^' that gentleman 
has a great deal to do with me and my affairs, and if you can 



find any other to take his place as disinterestedly attached to 
me and as capable of serving me, lam confident he will hold 
himself very highly obliged to you for relieving him from a 
burden, that brings him neither profit nor advantage, and 
only subjects him" to such remarks, as you have now been 
making — " 

It happened to me to be present, and sitting next to Ad- 
miral Rodney at table, when the thought seemed first to 
occur to him of breaking the French line by passing through 
it in the heat of action. It was at Lord George Germain's 
house at Stoneland after dinner, when having asked a num- 
ber of questions about the manceuvring of columns, and the 
efl'ect of charging with them on a line of infantry, he pro- 
ceeded to arrange a parcel of cherry stones, which he had 
collected froYn the table, and forming them as two fleets 
drawn up in line and opposed to each other, he at once ar- 
rested our attention, which had not been very generally en- 
gaged by his preparatory enquiries, by declaring he was de- 
termined so to pierce the enemy's line of battle, (arranging 
his manoeuvre at the same time on the table) if ever it was 
his fortune to bring them into action. I dare say this passed 
with some as mere rhapsody, and all seemed to regard it as 
a very perilous and doubtful experiment, but landsmen's 
doubts and difficulties made no impression on the admiral, 
who having seized the idea held it fast, and in his eager ani- 
mated v/ay went on manoeuvring his cherry stones, and throw- 
ing his enemy's representatives into such utter confusion, 
that already possessed of that victory in imagination, which 
in reality he lived to gain, he concluded his process by swear- 
ing he w^ould lay the French admiral's flag at his sovereign's 
feet: a promise v/hich he actually pledged to his majesty 
;.i his closet, and faithfully and gloriously performed. 

He w^as a singular and extraordinary man ; there were 
some prominent and striking eccentricities about him, which 
on a first acquaintance might dismiss a cursory observer 
with inadequate and false impressions of his real character ; 
for he would very commonly indulge himself in a loose and 
heedless style of talking, wiiich for a time miglit intercept 
and screen from observation the sound good sense that he 
possessed, and the strength and dignity of mind, that were 
natui'ai to him. Neither ought it to be forgotten that the sea 
v/as his element, and it was there, and not on Jand, that the 
standard ought to be planted by which his merits should be 


lueasured. We are apt to set that man down as vain-glori- i 
. ous and unwise, who fights battles over the table, and in the 
ardour of his conversation though amongst enviers and ene- 
mies, keeps no w\atch upon his words, confiding in their 
candour and believing them his friends. Such a man was i 
Admiral Lord Rodney, whom history will record amongst ' 
the foremost of our naval heroes, and whoever doubts his 
courage might as v/ell dispute against the light of the sun at 

That he carried this projected manoeuvre into operation, 
atid that the effect of it was successfully decisive all the 
world knows. My friend sir Charles Douglas, captain of the 
fleet, confessed to me that he himself had been adverse to the 
experiinent, and in discussing it with the admiral had stated 
his objections ; to these he got no other answer but that " his 
" counsel was not called for ; he required obedience only, 
^' he did not want advice — " sir Charles also told me that 
whilst the project was in operation, (the battle then raging) 
his own attention being occupied by the gallant defence made 
by the French Glorieux against the ships that were pouring 
their fire into her, upon his crying out — " Behold, sir 
George, the Greeks and Trojans contending for the body 
of Patroclus ! — " The admiral then pacing the quarter deck 
in great agitation pending the experiment of his manoeuvre, 
(which m the instance of one ship had unavoidably miscarried) 
peevishly exclaimed — " Damn the Greeks, and damn the 
Trojans ; I have other things to ifiink of—-" When in a 
few minutes after, his supporting ship having led through 
the French line in a gallant style, turning with a smile of joy 
to sir Charles Douglas, he cried out—'' Now my dear friend, 
I am at the service of your Greeks and Trojans, and the 
whole of Homer's Iliad, or as much of it as you please, for 
the enemy is in confusion, and our victory is secure — .'^ 
This anecdote, correctly as I relate it, I had from that gal- 
lant officer, untimely lost to his country, w^hose candour 
scorned to rob his admiral of one leaf of his laurels, and who, 
disclaiming all share in the manoeuvre, nay confessing he had 
objected to it, did in the most pointed and decided terms 
again and again repeat Lis honourable attestations of the 
courage and conduct of his commanding officer on that me- 
morable day. 

In a short time after, when, upon a change of the admin- 
istration, this victorious admiral was superseded and called. 


liome, he confirmed by his practice that maxim which he 
took every opportunity to inculcate, (and a very wise one 
and well Worthy of being recorded it is) viz. — *' that our na- 
" val officers have nothing to do with parties and politics, 
" being' simply bound to carry their instructions into execu- 
" tion, to the best of their abilities, without deliberating a- 
'* bout men and measures, which forms no part of their 
" duty, and for which they are in no degree responsible — ." 
It was to this transaction I alluded in the following lines, 
which I wrote and enclosed to Lord Mansfield about this 
time. I had the honour and happiness of enjoying his so- 
ciety frequently, but the immediate reason for my addres- 
sing him in this stile has no connexion with the subject here 
referred to 

To the Earl of Mansfield. 

" Shall merit find no shelter but the grave, 

" And envy still pursue the wise and brave ? 

" Sticks the leech close to life, and only drops 

" When its food fails and the heart's current stops ? 

" Though sculptur'd laurels grace 'the hero's bust, 

" And tears are mingled with the poet's dust, 

" Review their sad memorials, you will find 

" This fell by faction, that in misery pin'd. 

" When France and Spain the subject ocean swept, 

" Whilst Britain's tame inglorious lion slept, 

" Or lashing up his courage now and then, 

" Turn'd out and growl'd, and then turn'd in again, 

" Rodney in that ill-omen'd hour arose, 

" Crush'd his own first and next his country's foes ; 

" Though all that fate allow'd was nobly won, 

" Envy could squint at something still undone ; 

" Injurious faction stript him of command, 

*' And snatch'd the helm from his victorious hand, 

" Summon'd the nation's brave defender home, 

" Prejudg'd his cause and warn'd him to his doom ; 

'' Whilst hydra-headed malice open'd wide 

" Her thousand mouths, and bay'dhim till he died. 

"^ The poet's cause comes next — and you, my Lord, 
*^ The Muse's friend, will take a poet's word ; 


" Trust me our province is replete with pain ; 

" They say we're irritable, envious, vain : 

" They say~and Time has variiish'd o'er the lie 

" Till it assumes Truth's venerable dye— 

" That wits, like falcons soaring for their prey, 

" Pounce everv wing that flutters in their way, 

" Plunder each rival songster's tuneful breast 

" To deck with other's plumes their own dear nest ; 

" They say — but tis an office I disclaim 

" To brush their cobwebs from the roll of fame, 

" There let the spider hang and work his worst, 

" And spin his flimsey venom till he burst ; 

" Reptiles beneath the holiest shrine may dwell, 

" And toads engender in the purest well. 

" Genius must pay its tax like other wares 
" According to the value which it bears ; 
** On sterling worth detraction's stamp is laid, 
*' As gold before 'tis current is assay'd. 
" Fame is a debt time present never pays, 
" But leaves it on the score to future days ; 
*' And why is restitution thus deferred 
" Of long arrears from year to year incurr'd ? 
^^ Why to posterity this labour given 
" To search out frauds and set defaulters even • 
*' If our sons hear our praise 'tis well, and yet 
*• Praise in the father's ear had sounded sweets 

" Still there is one exception we must own, 
*' Whom all conspire to praise, and one alone ; 
" One on whose living brow we plant the wreath, 
" And almost deify on this side death : 
*' He in the plaudits of the present age 
'' Already reads his own historic page, 
" And, though preeminence is under heav'n 
" The last of crimes by man to be forgiv'n, 
*' Justice her own vice-gerent will defend, 
" The orphan's father and the widow's friend ; 
" Truth, virtue, genius mingle beams so bright, 
" Envy is dazzl'd with excess of light : 
" Detraction's tongue scarce stammers out a fault, 
" And faction blushes for its own assault. 
" His is the happy gift, the nameless grace, 
" That shapes and fits the man to every place, 


^' The gay companion at the social board, 

" The guide of councils, or the senate's lord, 

" Now regulates the law's discordant strife, 

" Now balances the scale of death or life, 

" Sees guilt engendering in the human heart, 

*« And strips from falsehood's face' the mask of arts 

" Whether, assembled with the wise and great, 

" He stands the pride and pillar of the state, 

<^ With well-weigh'd argument distinct and clear 

. " Confirms the judgment and delights the ear, 

* " Or in the festive circle deigns to sit 

" Attempering wisdom with the charms of wit-* 

" Blest talent, form'd to profit and to please, 

" To clothe Instruction in the garb of Ease, 

** Sublime to rise, or graceful to descend, 

" Now save an empire and now cheer a friend. 

" More I could add, but you perhaps complain, 
<^ And call it mere creation of the brain ; 
" Poets you say will flatter — true, they will ; 
" But I nor inclination have nor skill — > 
*' Where is your model, you will ask me, where ? 
" Search your own breast, my Lord, you'll find it there." 

It is in this period of my life's history, that by accepting a 

commission, which took me into Spain, I was subjected to 

events, that have very strongly contrasted and changed the 

complexion of my latter days from that of the preceding 

I ones. 

[ I will relate no other circumstances of this negociation 
[ than I am in honour and strict conscience warranted to make 
i public. P'or more than twenty years I have been silent, 
|, making no appeals at any time but to my official employers, 
I who were pledged to do me justice. What I gained by 
I those appeals, and how far that justice was administered to 
me, will appear from the detail, which I am now about to 
I give ; and though I hope to render this narrative not unen- 
! tertaining to my readers, yet I do most faithfully assure them 
t that no tittle of the truth shall be sacrificed to description, 
I being resolved to give no colour to facts and events, but such 
I as they can strictly bear, nor ever knowingly permit a word 
I to stand in these pages inconsistent with that veracity, to 
I which I am so solemnly engaged. 



In the year 1780, and about the time of Rodney^s capture 
of the Caracca fleet, I had opportunities of discovering 
through a secret channel of intelligence mtaiy things pass- 
ing, and some concerting, between the confidential agents 
of France and Spain, (particularly the latter) resident in this 
country, and in private correspondence with the enemies of 
it. Of these communications I made that use, which my 
duty dictated, and to my judgment seemed adviseable. By 
these, in the course of their progress, a prospect was open- 
ed of a secret negociation with the Minister Florida Blanca, 
to which I was personally committed, and of course could 
not decline the undertaking it. My destination was to repair 
to the neutral port of Lisbon, there to abide whilst the Abbe 
Hussey, chaplain to his Catholic Majesty, proceeded to 
Aranjuez, and by the advice, which he should send me, I 
was to be governed in the alterneitive of either going into 
Spain for the purpose of carrying my instructions into exe- 
cution, or of retunii^:>g home by the same ship that conveyed 
me thither, which was ordered to wait my determination for 
the space of three weeks, Uxiless dismissed or employed by 
me within that period. 

I was to take my wife and two daughters Elizabeth and 
Sophia with me on the pretence of travelling into Italy upon 
a passport through the Spanish dominions, and having re- 
ceived my instructions and letters of accreditation from the 
Earl of Hillsborough, Secretary of State, on the 1 7th day 
of April, 1780, I took my departure for Portsmouth, there 
tx> embark on board his majesty's frigate Miiford, which I 
had particularly asked for, as knowing her character to be 
that of a remarkable swift sailer. On my arrival at Ports- 
mouth I found she had gone out upon a short cruize after a 
French privateer, but v/as expected every hour. On the 
2 1st she came in from her cruize, and I delivered to her 
Captain Sir William Burnaby two letters from the Admiral- 
ty, one directing him to receive me and my family onboard, 
the other to be opened when he came off the Start -point. 

This frigate being from long and constant service in a weak 
and leaky state, on which account Sir William had lately 
brought her into port, and undergone a court martial in con- 
sequence of it, I found him and his officers under some alanii 
as to the unknovvn extent of my destination,- suspecting that 
I might be bound to tlie West Indies, and justly doubting 
the sea-v,- or thine ss of the ship for any distant voyage. On 


this point I could give them no satisfaction, but on the day 
following her arrival, (viz. April 22d) went on board to as- 
sist in adjusting the accommodations for the females of my 

In consequence of strong and adverse winds we remained 
at Spithead till the 28th, when at eight o'clock in the morn- 
ing we weighed anchor with the wind at south, and brought 
to at Cowes. Here I fixed three double-headed shot to the 
box, that contained my papers and instructions, and the 
wind still hanging in the south-west, foul and unfavourable, 
it was not till the 2d of May, when upon its veering to the 
north-east we took our departure in the forenoon from Cbwes, 
and upon its dying away anchored in mid-channel for the 
night in 20 fathom water, Needle-rocks S. W. by W. Yar- 
mouth S. E. by S. 

Being off the Start- point on the 3d instant Sir William 
Burnaby opened his orders, and with great satisfaction found 
his destination to be to Lisbon ; we saw a large fleet to west- 
ward at the Start-point, which proved to be the Quebec trade 
outward-bound under convoy. On the 6th having passed 
the Land's-end, we found the fore-mast sprung below the 
trussel trees, and by the next day the carpenter had mould- 
ed a fish on it, v/hen the gale having freshened with rain and 
squalls, we struck top-gallants, handed the fore-sail, and 
hove to under the main-sail ; on the 9th the gale increased, 
and having reefed and furled the main-sail, we laid to under 
the main-stay -sail and mizen-stay-sail : Lat. 49 4 ; Long. 
1 45. Land's-end. 

Our situation now became very uncomfortable, and our 
safety suspicious, for the sea was truly mountainous, and 
broke over our low and leaky frigate in a tremendous 
style, which in the meanwhile occasionally received such 
hard and heavy shocks, as caused serious apprehensions 
even in those to whom danger was familiar. I had in my 
passages to Ireland been in angry seas and blowing weather, 
but nothing I had seen bore any resemblance to the fury of 
this gale, nor could any tiling but the confidence I had rea- 
son to place in British seamen, and the exertions, which I 
witnessed on their part, have stood between me and absolute 
despair. The dreadful sight and deafening uproar of those 
tremendous seas, that by turns whelmed us under a canopy 
of water, ra akin g darkness at mid-day, and rendering every 
voice inaudible, vrere as much as my nerves could bear, and 



whilst the ship was quivering and settling, as I conceived, 
upon the point of going down, I thought it high time to set 
out in search of those beloved objects, who had embarked 
themselves with me, and were as I supposed suffering the 
extreme of terror and alarm. How greatly was I mistaken 
in the calculation of their fortitude ! I found my wife, then 
flir gone with child, in her cot within the cabin, the water 
flowing through it like a sluice, so perfectly collected and 
composed, that I forbore to speak of the situation we were 
in, and did not hint at the purpose which brought me to 
hof ; but she, who knew too well what was passing to be de- 
ceived as to the motive of my coming to her, said to me— « 
" You are alarmed I believe ; so am not I. We are in a 
British ship of war, manned with British seamen, and, if we 
are in danger, which I conclude we are, I don't doubt but 
they know how to carry us through it." Thus divested of 
my alarm by the intrepidity of the very person, who had so 
great a share in causing it, I made my way with some diffi- 
culty to the ward-room, where my daughters had taken 
shelter, whilst Mr. Lucas the purser was serenading them 
with v/hat would have been a country dance, if the ship had 
not danced so violently out of all time and tune. In this • 
moment the Abbe Hussey, who had followed me, upon aj| 
sudden pitch of the ship burst head foremost into the ward- "* 
room, and with the momentum of a gun groken loose from 
its lashings overturned poor Lucas, demolishing his violin, 
the table, and every thing frangibi^. that his colossal figure 
came in contact with. 

Such was our situation on the 9th of May, and when upon 
the morning following the gale moderated we set the mizen 
and fore-top-mast stay-sail, and swaying the top-gallant- 
mast up, set main-sail and fore -sail, working the pumps to 
keep the ship free, whilst the sea ran very lofty with a heavy 
swell. This was the last time the Milford frigate ever went 
to sea, for by the time we anchored at the Tagus her main- 
deck exhibited suflRcient proofs how completely she was 
broken-backed by straining in tiie gale. 

I will here relate an incident no otherwise interesting or 
curious but as a mere matter of chance, which tends in some 
degree to shew the credulity of our seu-f^tring countrymen. 
I had been in the habit of wearing in my pocket a broad 
silver piece given to me as a keeji-sake by my son George, 
who received his death at the siege of Charlestov/n in South- 


Carolina the very clay after he had taken cominand of an 
armed vessel to which he was appointed. This piece had 
been beaten out from a dollar by a marine belongini^ to the 
Miiford, then on the American station, and presented by him 
to my son then a midshipman serving on board : on this 
piece the artist had engraved the Miiford in full sail, and on 
the reverse my coat of arms, and upon my discoveritig that 
this same ingenious marine, now become a serjeant, was on 
the quarter-deck with me, I had been talking vrith him upon 
the incident, and shewing him that I had carefully preserved 
his present, which to this hour I have done, and am now 
wearing it in my pocket. This man, though a brave and or- 
derly soldier, had so completely yielded himself up to a kind 
of religious enthusiasm as to be plunged in the profoundest 
apathy and indifference towards life ; still he exhibited on 
this occasion some small show of sensibility at the sight of 
his own work, and the recollection of an amiable youth, now 
untimely lost. The wind was adverse to our course, our 
ship still labouring in a heavy sea, whilst strong and sudden 
squalls, which every now and then annoyed us, together 
with the incessant labour of the pumps, denied our people 
that repose which their past toils demanded : in tliis gloomy 
moment the fancy struck me to make trial of the superstition, 
of the man at the helm by laying this silver piece on the face 
of the compass, as a charm to turn the wind a point or two 
in our favour, which I boldly promised it would do. I found 
my gallant shipmate eagerly disposed to confide in the ex- 
periment, which he put out of all doubt by clinching his be- 
lief in it with a deposition upon oath, quite sufficient to con- 
vince me of his sincerity, and something more than neces- 
sary for the occasion. Accordingly I laid my charm upon 
the glass of the compass with all the solemnity I could as- 
sume, whilst my friend kept his eyes alternately employed 
upon that and the dog-vane, till in a few minutes with a se- 
cond oath, much more ornamented and embroidered than 
the former, he announced to the conviction of all present a 
considerable shift of wind in our favour. Credulity nov/ be- 
gan to circulate most rapidly through the ship ; even the of- 
ficers seemed to have caught some touches of its influence, 
and my friend the meditative serjeant raised his eyes with 
some astonishment from his book, where they had been riv- 
eted to a few dirty pages loose and torn, as it seemed, out of 
Sherlock's volume upon death. My first prediction having 



iiucceeded so luckily, I boldly promised them a prize in view, 
and whimsical as the incident is, yet it so chanced that in a 
very short time the man at the mast-head sung out two 
ships bearing north standing to the southward ; this happen- 
ed at one o'clock ; at half an hour past the sternmost tacked 
and made sail to the northward ; we found our ship gaining 
fast upon her, and at four hoisted Dutch colours ; at three 
quarters after hoisted St. George's ensign, and fired a shot 
at her ; at five she hoisted French colours and fired a broad- 
side into us, emd at six she struck, and proved to be the Due 
de Coigny private frigate of 28 guns, Mignionet commander, 
belonging to Granville ; this- gallant Frenchman had scarce- 
ly pronounced his anathema against the man who should of- 
fer to strike his colours, when his head was blown to atoms 
by one of our cannon bails : the prize lost her second cap- 
tain also, and had fifty of her men killed and wounded : we 
had two seamen and one marine killed, and four seamen and 
one marine wounded. 

This was a new and striking spectacle to a landsman like 
me, and though I am dwelling on an mcident which to a na- 
val reader may seem trifling, yet as it was my good fortune 
to be present at an animating scene, which does not occur 
to every man, who occasionally passes the seas in my situa* 
tion, I presume I am excusable for my description of it. 

When I witnessed the dispatch with which a ship is clear- 
ed for action, the silence and good order so strictly observ- 
ed, and the commands so distinctly given upon going into 
action, I was impressed with the greatest respect for the 
discipline and precision observed on board our ships of war. 
Such coolness and preparatory arrangement seemed to me 
a security for success and conquest. Our spirited purser 
Mr. Lucas performed better with his musket than his vio- 
lin, and whilst standing by him on the quarter deck I plain- 
ly saw him pick off a French officer in a green coat, whom 
he jocularly called the parrot, the last of three whom he 
had dismissed to their watery graves. My melancholy friend 
the engraver had his arm shattered by the first fire of. the 
enemy, which he received with the most stoical indifference, 
and would not be persuaded to leave the quarter deck till 
the action was over, when going down to be dressed as my 
eldest daughter (now Lady Edward Bentick) was coming up 
from below he gallantly presented that very arm to assist 
her, and when, observing him shrink upon her touching it. 


she said to him — '^ Serjeant, lam afraid you are wounded," 
he calmly replied — " To be sure I am Madam, else I should 
'' not have been so bold to have crossed you on the stairr> — " 
This was a strain of chivalry worthy of the days of old, and 
something more than Tom Jones' gallantry to Sophia Wes- 
tern, who only offered her his serviceable arm, and kept the 
broken one unemployed. One other incident, though of a 
very different sort, occurred as I was handing her along the 
main-deck from the bread room, when slipping in the blood 
and brains of a poor fellow, who laid dead beside his gun, an 
insensible brat who was boasting and rejoicing at his own es- 
cape, cried out — '' Have a care. Miss, how you tread. Look 
" at this fellow ; I stood close by him when he got this knock : 
" the shot went clear over me, and this damn'd fool put his 
" head in the way of it. Was'nt tliat a droll affair ? — " 

The shifting the prisoners v/as a task of danger, as the sea 
ran very high, and they were beastly drunk. In this our 
people were employed all night : when they had refitted the 
rigging shot away in the action, and hoisted in the boats, we 
made sail with the prize in company. The carpenters were 
employed in repairing the boats, which were stove in shifting 
the prisoners, of which we took on board 155 French and 
Americans: Lat. 49 6. Long. 1 45. 

Our surgeon and his assistants being exhausted with their 
duty on board both ships, my anxiety kept me sleepless 
through a turbulent night, and I went about the ship to the 
wounded men, one of whom (James Eaton by name) a quar- 
ter-master and one of the finest fellows I ever saw, expired 
as I stood by him without any external hurt, having been 
struck in the side by a splinter. I read the burial service 
over him the next morning, whilst Abbe Hussey performed 
that office for the other two, who were Irish and of his com- 

On the 1 1th we took the prize in tow ; we had fresh bree-- 
zes with dark cloudy weather, and at midnight we wore ship, 
and in veering having broken the hawser we shortened sail 
for the prize, but soon after made signal for her to stand 
about and go into port, which she safely effected. In the 
course of this day 1 wrote a song for my amusement descrip- 
tive of our action, and adapted it to the tune of — 

Whilst here at Deal we're lyings boys^ 
With the noble Commodore-^-^ 


Our crew were very musically inclined, and we had some 
passably good singers amongst them, which suggested to me 
the idea of writing this sea-song ; we frequently sung it at 
Lisbon in lusty chorus, but their delicacy would not allow 
them to let it be once heard till their prisoners were remo- 
ved ; and this was the answer made to me by a common sea- 
man, when I asked why they w^ould not sing it during the 
voyage : an objection, which had escaped me, but which I 
felt the full force of, when stated to me by him. 

The song was as follows, and the circumstances, under 
which it was hastily written, must be my apology for insert- 
ing it 

" Twas up the wind three leagues or more 

" We spied a lofty sail ; 
" Set your top-gallant sails, my boys, 

*' And closely hug the gale. 

" Nine knots tlie nimble Milford ran, 

" Thus, thus, the master cried ; 
" Hull up Vvx brought the chace in view, 

" And soon were side by side. 

" Dowse your Dutch ensign, up Saint George ! 

" To quarters now all hands ; 
" With lighted match beside his gun 

" Each British hero stands. 

" Give lire our gallant captain cries, 

" Tis done, the cannons roar ; 
" Stand clear, Mounseers, digest these pills, 

" And soon we'll send you more." 

" Our chain-shot whistles in the v/ind 

" Our grape descends like hail— 
" Hurrah, my souls ! three cheering shouts, 

" French hearts begin to quail 

" Rak'd fore and aft her shattered hull 

^' Lets in the briny flood, 
" Her decks are carnag'd with the slain, 

" Her scuppers stream with blood. 


^< Her French jack shivers in the wind, 

" Its lilies ail look pale ; 
" Down it must come, it must comedown, 

" For Britons will prevail. 

" And see ! 'tis done : she strikes, she yields ; 

" Down haughty flag of France ; 
" Nov/ board her, boys, and on her staff 

" The English cross advance ! 

" There, there triumphantly it flies, 

" It conquers and it saves — 
" So gaily toss the can about, 

" For Britons rule the waves." 

During the 12th, 13th, and 14th, we had fresh gales and 
squally, till on the night of the latter, being then in Lat. 
44 2. Long. 3 16. we had light airs and fair weather, when 
descrying a frigate under English colours to the southward, 
standing to the northward, we cleared ship for action, but 
soon after lost sight of her. The next day, viz. the 1 5th, 
we saw a fleet of the enemy to the southv/ard standing to 
the westward, forty-five m number, of which were eight sail 
of the line and three or four frigates. They proved to be 
the French squadron under the command of Toumay, and 
having brought to on the starboard tack dispatched a line of 
battle ship in chace of us ; coming down in a slanting course 
she appeared at first to gain upon \is, till at half past eight 
in the evening, (our rate being then better than at twelve 
knots) she left off chace, having given us her louver guns, 
whilst the prisoners, expecting us to be captured, became 
so unruly, that our men were obliged to drive them down 
_with the hand-spikes. 

On the 1 6th we brought to and took a Portuguese pilot on 
board, passed the Burlings, and the next day at six in the 
evening anchored with the best bower in eight fathom water, 
Belem Castle N. E. Abbe Hussey and I with the second 
lieutenant landed at the castle, and at eight at night we ob- 
tained pratique. We found riding here his majesty's ship 
Romuey, Captain Home, with the Cormorant sloop, Cap- 
tain John Payne, under the command of Commodore John- 


One of my first employments was to purchase a large 
stock of oranges for the refreshment of the ship's company, 
especially the wounded, and of these my friend the serjeant 
condescended to partake, though he had been so extremely 
occupied with his meditations upon death, as hardly to be i 
persuaded to let his arm be dressed, answering all the kind 
enquiries of his comrades in the most sullen and oftentimes] 
abusive terms — " They were wicked wretches and deserved 
*' damnation for presuming to condole with him. It was 
" God's good pleasure to exercise his spirit with pain, and 
" he had supreme satisfaction in bearing it. What busi- 
" ness was it of their's to be troubling him with their im- 
♦^ pertinent inquiries ?" — This was in the style of his civil- 
est replies ; to some his answers were very short and ex- 
tremely gross. 

The day after our arrival we weighed and dropt farther 
\ip the river ; at night we discharged the prisoners, and the 
commodore visited us in his barge. Mr. Hussey prepared 
for his journey into Spain, and I provided apartments for, 
my family at Mrs. Duer's hotel at Buenos Ayres. The next 
day the commodore entertained us at Belem, and the day, 
ensuing he, with Captains Home and Payne, dined with us 
on board. ^ 

My orders were to Vfsdt at Lisbon till Mr. Hussey wrote 
to me from Aranjuez, and according to the tenor of his re- 
port I was to use my discretion as to proceeding onwards, of* 
returning home ; and this being a point decisive as to my 
credit or discredit in the management of the business I was 
entrusted with, I was most urgent and precise with Mr.' 
Hussey in conjuring him to be extremely careful and correct 
in his report, by which I was to guide myself, and this he 
solemnly promised me that he Avould observe. On the 1 9th 
and 20th I prepared my dispatches, and on the 2 1st deliver- 
ed them to the pacquet master, who took his departure that 
very day. 

In the mean time I understood from Mr. Hussey, that in 
ap'piymg to the Spanish ambassador Count Fernan Nunez 
for his passport, he had committed himself to a conversa- 
tion, from which he drew very promising expectations ; of 
this I informed my proper minister Lord Hillsborough, as 
will i^ppear by the following extract of my letter dated the 
19th of May 1780, 


** My Lord, 

" When Mr. Hussey waited on Count Feman Nu- 
nez yesterday for his passport, he would have made his 
commission for the exchange of prisoners the pretence for 
his journey into Spain, but the ambassador gave him plainly 
to understand he was confidential with Count Florida Blan- 
ca in the business upon which we are come. This being 
the case, Mr. Hussey thought it by no means necessary to 
decline a conversation with the ambassador under proper 
reserve. He was soon told that his arrival was anxiously 
expected at Aranjuez. No expression of good will to him, 
to me, and to the commission I am entrusted with, w^as 
omitted. It was proposed by the ambassador to pay me the 
honour of a visit, if acceptable, in any way I liked best ; but 
this Mr. Hussey without referring to me very properly and 
readily prevented. 

" He entered into many pertinent inquiries as to the 
state of the ministry, and the manner in which Lord North 
had been pressed in the House of Commons; he would 
have stirred the question of an accommodation with France, 
but was plainly answered by Mr. Hussey that he had no 
one word to say upon that subject ; the channel was open, 
he observed, but ours was nottfii?.t chc^l"IV'€'!— ** 
^ " The conversation then closed with such assurances of a 
sincere pacific disposition on the part of Spain, that if Count 
Fernan Nunez reports fViriy, and is not imposed on, our bu- 
siness seeais to be in an auspicious train — ***'' 

My gratitude to Sir William Burnaby and his officers in- 
duced me to address tr-e foilov/ing letter and request to 
Lord Hillsborough, which I made separate, and sent under 
cover of the same dispatch. 

« To the Earl of Hillsborough. 

" May the 20th, 1 7 80 
« My Lord, « Miiford frigate off'Belem. 

" I cannot let this opportunity go by without ex- 
pressing to your Lordship, and through you to Lord Sand- 
wich, my most thankful acknowledgments for indulging my 
wishes by putting me on board the Miiford under tiie care 
and command of Sir William Burnaby, whose unremitted 
kindness and attention to me and my family I can neither 
duly relate or repay. Throughout a long and an eventful 


passage, whether we were struggling with a gale, or clear- 
ing ship for action, both he and his officers uniformly con-| 
ducted themselves v/ith that harmony, temper, and preci* 
sion, as seemed to put them in assured possession of suc- 
cess ; the men themselves have been so long attached to 
their officers, and all of them to the ship itself, that the se- 
verest duty is here directed without an oath, and obeyed 
without a murmur. Though we have been encumbered 
with such a crowd of prisoners, many of whom seemed to 
possess the spirit of mutiny in full force, our discipline has 
kept all in perfect quiet, and such humane attention has 
been paid to their health, that not a single prisoner has sick- 
ened or complained. 

" I take the liberty of intruding upon your lordship with 
these particulai-s to introduce a suit to you, which I have 
most anxiously at heart, and in which I am joined with 
equal anxiety by my friend Mr. Hussey : it is, my lord, to 
beseech you to promote the application made by Sir Wil- 
liam Burnaby to Lord Sandwich in behalf of his first lieute- 
nant Mr. William Grosvenor to be made master and com- 
mander ; an officer of ten years standing, well known in the 
navy, and distinguished for activity, sobriety, and profes- 
sional skill and ability ; he went round the world with Ad- 
tniral Byron, and is highly respected by him ; he has been 
in this ship during the whole war, and assisted in the cap- 
ture of near fourscore prizes, by which he has acquired very 
little more than the approbation of his captains, and the 
love and reverence of the men. 

" Had our prize been a king's ship Mr. Grosvenor would 
have come home in her, and his promotion would most 
probably have followed in train ; however, as she is a very 
fine new frigate, and will I dare say be reported fit for the 
king's use, the opportunity is judged favourable for recom- 
mending Mr. Grosvenor's pretensions, and as the Milford 
may be said to be now acting under your Lordship's orders, 
I flatter myself you will take her under your protection by 
granting your good offices with Lord Sandwich in Mr. Gros- 
venor's behalf; an obligation that I shall ever gratefully 
carry in remembrance 

" I have the honour to be, &c. 

R. C. 

This letter produced no advantage to Mr. Grosvenor, nor 
any other gratification to me except the recollection that I 
had done my best to serve a meritorious officer. 


At Buenos Ayres I was visited by our minister Mr. Wal- 
pole, Commodore Johnstone, Sir John Hort the consul, Cap- 
tain Payne and several gentlemen of the factory. On the 
25 th instant the ceremony of the Corpus Christi took place 
in a day excessively sultry, when the king and prince walked 
with the patriarch of Lisbon, the religious orders, knights of 
Christ and nobility of Portugal, in procession through the 
streets, of which even the ruins were decorated with rich ta- 
pestries, silks and velvets, forming at once a splendid and a 
melancholy scene. I was with my daughters at a house, from 
which we had a very good view of what was passing, and 
as they presented themselves at an open window in their 
English dresses, (and I may add without vanity in all their 
native charms) tney most evidently arrested the attention of 
the holy brotnerhood in a manner, that by no means harmo- 
nised with the soiemnity of their office ; more perfect wolves 
in sheep's clotaing never were beneld. The haughtiness 
and ili-breeding of the Portuguese nobles is notorious to a 
proverb. One of these, the son of the minister Ponibal, 
came into the room where I was waituig for the procession 
above mentioned ; turning to me with an air of supercilious 
protection, very awkwardly assumed, and making a motion 
with his hands towards a chair^ he was pleased to tell me 
that / might sit down — There was an insolence in ti e man- 
ner of it irresistibly provoking, and I am not ashamed to say 
my answer was at least as contemptuous as his address was 

Early in the morning of the 30th I went with my daugh- 
ters, and some of our naval fi4ends to Cintra, visithig- the 
palace of Queluz in the way : the terrors of an earthquake 
are evidently expressed in the construction of this palace, 
which is nothing more than a long range of pavilions in the 
Moorish character very ricnly furnished and profusely gilt ; 
the heat was quite oppressive, but tl le shady walks and deli- 
cious odour of the orange groves, the refreshing sight of the 
fountains and exquisite beauty of tiie flowers in high bloom 
and boundless abundance recompensed all we suffered by 
the mid-day violence of the burning sun. In the romantic 
and more temperate retreat of Cintra we enjoyed the most 
charming and enchanting scenes and prospects nature can 
display. The rock, the cork convent and tlie ancient palace 
of Cintra are objects that surpass description ; from tue lat- 
ter of these the rock ajid town of Cintra, with ^l the countr}" 


about it as far as to the palace of Mafra, till where it is bound- 
ed by the sea, form a most superb and interesting scene ; 
the interior of the castle is unfurnished, though the painted 
tiles, gilded ceilings and arrangement of the apartments, 
opening to parterres, cut out of the rock in stories and ter- 
races one above the other, is singularly grand and striking. 
In one of the great chambers the ceiling is ornamented with 
the scutcheons of all the noble families of Portugal affixed to 
the necks of stags of no ordinary painting or design, and, 
though very ancient, their remarkable freshness bespeaks 
the extreme softness and dryness of the climate ; in this 
collection the bearings and titles of the noble family of D'A- 
veiro had a conspicuous station, from which they are now dis- 
lodged and their very name expunged. 

On our return to Lisbon we passed the remarkable aque- 
duct of Alcantara so often described, and on the 5th of June 
at early morning I received the expected dispatch from Mr. 
Hussey with letters inclosed for the Earl of Hillsborough 
and Lord George Germain — His letter to me was as fol- 

" Aranjuez, 31st May 1780. 
" My dear friend, 

" I arrived here three days ago, conversed with 
" the minister of state upon the subjectof your journey, and 
" do find that the delays which this business met with, and 
" the different turn, which matters have taken, render this 
" negociation every day exceedingly arduous and difficult. 
" However as the minister is so very desirous of finding 
" some means to bring it to a happy conclusion, and as you 
" are already so far advanced on your journey, I think it by 
" all means advisable that you come, (giving out that you 
" mean to pass through Spain for the benefit of your health) 
" and so give the negociation a fair trial. You know me too 
^^ well to suspect that I shall be v/anting to cultivate the 
" good wishes of the minister of state, and to incline him to- 
" wards an accommodation. My servant Daly carries a 
*' memorandum of the road and the different places where 
" the relays of carriages are to meet you. 

" Do not forget to mention to Mrs. Cumberland and the 
*' young ladies, their's and 

" Your affectionate friend 

" Thomas Hussey. 

" P. S. His Catholic majesty's orders are gone to Bada«' 
"^ joz, the frontier town, not to examine your baggage—'^ 


Embarrassed by this letter, and doubtful of the part I 
ought to take, I obeyed my instructions by resorting to our 
minister Mr. Walpole, and delivered to him a letter from 
Lord Hillsborough, the contents of which I was privy to, 
and by which I was directed to be confidential and explicit 
with him. As there was but one point, upon which he hesi- 
tated, and which I had good reason to know would not be 
made a stipulation obstructive to my measures, I was dispos- 
ed according to Mr. Hussey's advice to ^zVe the negociation a 
trials, though his letter Avas by no means such as I exacted 
from him, nor so explicit as to give me a safe rule to goby. 
Nevertheless upon full consideration of all circumstan- 
ces, and under the persuasion that delay, (which was the 
utmost that Mr. Walpole suggested) would in eifect be tan- 
tamount to absolute abandonment, I determined for the jour- 
ney, and gave my reasons for pursuing the advice of Mr, 
Hussey, and meeting the advances of the Spanish Minister, 
exemplified by his preparations for receiving me, in the 
following dispatch, which I transmitted to Lord Hillsbo- 
rough by Sir William Burnaby, then upon his departure 
for England — 

" To the Earl of Hillsborough:' 

" Lisbon, June 6th, 1780. 
« My Lord, 

'' In my letter No. 1. I informed your lordship of 
my arrival here on the 17th of last month at six in the 
afternoon, and of Mr. Hussey's departure for Aranjuez on 
the 19th following at eleven o'clock in the forenoon. I have 
now the honour of transmitting to you a letter, which 1 re- 
ceived yesterday morning by express from Aranjuez, ad- 
dressed to your lordship, and I enclose one also, which I 
had from Mr. Hussey of the 31st of last month by the same 

" The letter of my instructions is explicit for my return- 
ing to England, or advancing to Spain, as that court shall 
make or not m.ake the cession of Gibraltar the basis of a 
negociation. The simple resolution of this question formed 
the whole purport of Mr. Hussey's journey, and as I well 
know it was clearly understood on nis part, I expected a re- 
ply in the same style of precision v.ith these instructions : 
the case is now unexpectedly become exceedingly embar- 



rassing and delicate. As he does not say that Spain stipu- 
lates for the cession aforesaid, I do not consider myself un- 
der orders to return ; on the other hand as he does not tell 
me that she will treat without it, I am doubtful whether I 
am warranted to advance. He says the minister zs very de- 
sirous of finding means of bringing things to a hapfiy conclu^ 
sionj and I have not only his authority, but good grounds 
from private information, to give credit to his assertion : I 
am also furnished with the necessary passports from the 
minister of Spain and from her ambassador at this court. It 
remains therefore a question with me, and a very difficult 
one I feel it, whether I should wait at Lisbon and require 
further explanation, or proceed without it. 

" If I take the first part of this alternative, I must expecl 
it will create offence to the punctilio of the Spanish court wli 
have given me their passport for myself and family, have 
not only provided me with every convenience of coaches and 
relays through Spain, but have directed their ambassador 
here to give me every furtherance from hence, that can ac- 
commodate me to Badajoz, and I have this day received 
Count Fernan Nunez's passport with a letter of recommen- 
dation to the Marquis de Ustariz, intendant of Badajoz. By 
the terms, in which Count Florida Blanca has couched my 
passport, it is set forth that I am travelling through Spain 
towards Italy for the establishment of my health : under 
this pretext it is in my power to take my route as a private 
traveller, and by no means deliver to the minister your 
lordship's letter until I have explicit satisfaction in the 
leading points of my instructions : should I find the court of 
Spain acquiescent under these particulars, success will jus- 
tify a doubtful measure ; whereas if I withstand the invita- 
tion and advice of Mr. liussey, sent no doubt with the pri- 
vity of the minister, and expressive of his good washes and 
desires for an accommodation, I shall throw every thing into 
heat and ferment, ruin all Mr.Hussey 's influence, from which 
I have so much to expect, and at once blast all his operations, 
now in so fair a train for success, and which probably have 
been much advanced since Daly's departure. In short, my 
lord, I regard this dilemma as a case, in which personal cau- 
tion points to one side, and public service to the other. In 
this light I view it, and although Mr. Hussey's letter to your 
lordship, (for it was under a flying seal) is as silent on the 
same material point, as that to me is, I have after full deli- 




beration thought it for his majesty's serviee that I should no 
longer hesitate to pursue the advice of Mr. Husscy, but re- 
solve to set out upon my journey for Spain. 

" The high opinion I entertain of Mr. Husscy 's under- 
standing weighs strongly with me for this measure, because 
I know he has intuition to penetrate chicanery, and discretion 
enough not to expose me to it ; and though he does not ex- 
pressly say that there is no obstacle in my way, yet this 
I am persuaded must be his firm assurance and be- 
lief before he would commit me to the journey. The 
verbal message he has sent me by his servant Daly thatc// 
^6- well^ is to me a very encouraging circumstance, because 
it is a concerted token and pass-word between us, agreed 
upon v/hen we were together in the frigate. The under- 
lined expressions in the memorandum for my journey have 
not escaped my observation, and I inclose you the original 
for your inspection : he says, I am impatient to tell you a 
thousand things, which I do not write. This marks to me 
an embarrassment and reserve in his letter, which probably 
arose from the necessity of his communicating it to the sub- 
minister Campo, or to the minister himself. The letters to 
your lordship and me w ere couched nearly in the same 
words, and these so much out of his style of expression, that 
they seem either shaped to meet another man's thoughts, 
or to be of another man's dictating. He tells me m the 
same memorandum, that at Aranjuez every thing else^ as 
well as his heart, will be ready to receive me : these expres- 
sions from Mr. Hussey I know to be no trivial indications of 
his thoughts, and though I am sensible my duty instructs 
me to take clearer lights for my guidance than side-way 
hints and insinuations can supply, yet such circumstances 
may come as aids, though not as principals, in the formation 
of an opinion. 

" I think it material to add that I have reason to believe 
the dispatch which the Spanish ambassador received from 
the minister by the hands of Daly, Mr. Hussey's servant, is 
expressive of the same disposition to a separate accommo- 
dation with Great Britain, and accords with what is stated by 
Mr. Hussey in his letter to your lordship. 

" Through the same intelligence I have discovered the 
channel, by which the propositions fabricated in this place 
were conveyed to the Spanish minister, and am to the bot- 
tom made acquainted with that whole intrigue. I can only 


by this opportunity inform your lordship, that it is a disca 
very of much importance to me in my future proceedings, 
gives me power over, and possession of, an agent in trust 
and confidence with the minister of Spain, as well as with the 
ambassador here, and that the deductions I draw from it 
strongly operate to incline my judgment to the resolution I 
have now taken of entering Spain. 

" I have the honour, ^c. R. C." 

Having hired carriages and provided myself with things ne- 
cessary for my journey to Badajoz, I wrote on the next morn- 
ing the following letter to the Secretary of State, separate 
find distinct from the dispatch, inserted as above— 

« To the Earl of Hillsborough r 

" Lisbon, June 7th, 1780. 
" My Lord, Wednesday morning 5 o'clock. 

" I am sensible I have taken a step, which ex- 
poses m^e to censure upon failure of success, unless the rea- 
sons, on which I have acted, shall be weighed with candour 
and even with indulgence. In the decision, I have taken for 
entering Spain, I have had no other object but to keep alive 
a negociation, to which any backwardness or evasion on my 
part in the present crisis would I am persuaded be immedi- 
ate extinction. I know where my danger lies, but as my 
endeavouro for the public service and the honour of your ad- 
ministration are sincere, I have no doubt but I shall obtain 
vour protection. 

" Though I dare not rest my public argument so much 
on private opinion as I am disposed to confess to you, yet 
you will plainly see how far I am swayed by my confidence in 
Mr. Hussey, and this will be the more evident when I must 
fairly own that Mr. Walpole's opinion is not with me for 
my immediate journey into Spain : I owe this justice to 
liim, that, if I fail, it may be known he is free from all parti- 
cipation in my error, I have delivered your letter, and in gene- 
ral opened the business to him as I was directed to do, but 
I have disclosed to him no other instruction, except that, on 
which Mr. Hussey '*s errand turns. He appears to me total-; 
ly to discredit the sincerity of Spain towards any accommo* 
dation with Great-Britain, and this opinion certainly colour- 
ed his whole argument upon the subject : had we agreed m 


this principal position, it is likely we should not have differ- 
ed in deductions from it. 

« I have written to Mr. Hussey, and beg; leave to send 
vou a copy of my letter. I had fully purposed, in conform- 
ity to what I said to your lordship, that my family should not 
accompany me upon my journey, but the nature of the pass- 
port and the circumstances that have arisen, make it indis- 
pensable for me to take them with me, not only as an ex- 
cuse for my delay upon the road till Mr. Hussey shall meet 
me, but also as a cover for my pretence of health, should I 
find it necessary to pass through Spain without an explana- 
tion with the minister, ^c. iP'c. 

" R. C." 

At three o'clock in the afternoon of the 8th instant, I took 
my departure from Lisbon, embarking in one of the queen's 
barges for Aldea Gallega, whilst my wife and daughters ac- 
companied me in the Milford's cutter with the first lieutenant 
and iTi aster. 

The passage to Aldea Gallega is about nine miles up the 
river, which here forms a magnificent sheet of water. At 
the wretched Posada in this place we had our first sample of 
that dirt and loathsomeness, which admit of no description, 
and which every baiting place throughout Portugal and Spain 
with little variation presented to us. Men may endure such 
scenes ; to women of delicacy they are and must be nause- 
ous in the extreme. The policy of these courts agrees in 
prohibiting the publican from furnishing any thing to the 
traveller but firing : provisions must be purchased by the 
way, and the kid, whose carcass has dangled on your car- 
riage in the sun and dust, half fried by the one, and more 
than half basted by the other, must be roasted for your meal 
by the faggot, that you purchase of your host, which in the 
meanwhile if you do not manfully defend, the muletteerand 
way-faring carrier will take a share of, and incense your poor 
carrion kid with the execrable fumes of his rank mess of oil 
and garlick. This rarely fails to stir up strife and fierce 
contention, which the host takes little or no pains to ailay, 
sometimes ferments, till, if your people c?jinot drive off the 
interlopers vv^ith a high hand, you call in the peace-officer of 
the village or town to adjust your rights, which he is in no 
haste to do till you quicken his tardy sense of justice with 
a portion of your roast meat. I vfas once driven to this is- 

^22 MEMOIRS or" 

ference, wlienmy people were out-numberccl, and then m^ 
defender gcive me gravely to understand that his spouse wa! 
extremely partial to cold turkey, that alluring object havin^ 
been incautiously exposed to his eager ken. 1 tried if he' 
would compound for a leg, but his spouse had a decided 
preference for the wing, and nothing short of half could 
move him to give sentence for my right. I had purchased 
at Lisbon two grey mules for the saddle at a high price ; 
they were beautiful creatures, very fast trotters and perfect- 
ly sure-footed, so that I rode occasionally and could make 
short excursions, when there was any thing better than a 
dreary wilderness to tempt me out of the road. 

On the 9th at three o'clock in the morning, Captain Payne 
arrived, having been all night on the water ; we breakfast- 
ed, and having taken leave of our friends, departed from Al- 
dea Gallega, our road lying over a sandy country, inter- 
spersed however with the olive and cork tree, and almost 
covered with myrtle bushes in full bloom. We passed by 
Vendas Novas, an unfurnished palace of the Queen's, and put 
up our beds for the night at a lone house near Siiveria. On 
the 10th we passed Montemor, situated on a beautiful emi- 
nence, and further on Arrayolas, where there are the re- 
mains of a stately castle of Moorish construction, as it should 
seem, and concluded our day's journey at a lone house, call- 
ed Venda do Duque. On the 1 1th, passing through Estre- 
mos we came to Elvas, the frontier town of Portugal, with- 
in sight of Badajoz in the plain at three leagues distance. 
The w^orks erected by Count la Lippe on the hill, which 
commands the town, and the fortifications of the town itself, 
seemed very extensive and in perfect repair, and the troops 
well accoutred and in good order, but the more striking sight 
to me was that of the aqueduct : it is raised on four loft; 
arches of stone cne over the other, and enters the tovrn in 
very grand style. The suburbs are finely planted and laid 
out'into walks by Count la Lippe, the projector, to whom El- 
vas is indebted for those public works, that constitute at oncet<j 
both her ornament and her defence. As our minister at 
Lisbon had not furnished me with any letter to the gover- 
nor at Elvas, I was not only put to trouble about my baggage, 
but evidently became an object of suspicion. The former 
of these difficulties I got over by a bribe, but the latter sub- 
jected me to restraint, for upon attempting to walk out of 
my inn I found a guard of soldiers v,hh fixed bayonets at the 



j5ate,who prevented me from stirring out, and mounted on me 
through the remainder of the day and the whole night, which 
I passed there. The next morning, whilst my carriages 
were in waiting for me, an Irish benedictine walked into 
my room, and in a very authoritative and unceremonious 
style insisted on my staying there all day, and even was pro- 
ceeding to countermand my carriages. He believed, or pre- 
tended to believe, that I was an American agent or ncgocia- 
tor, travelling into Spain, and began to inveigh most viru- 
lently against the king and country, of which he was a sub- 
ject born : if he was employed to sound mc (which is not 
improbable) he executed his office very clumsily, yet his in- 
solent importunity was a considerable interruption and ex- 
tremely troublesome. His language in the mean time was 
intolerably offensive, and his action worse, for as I reached 
out my hand to take my pistols from the table, the saucy 
fellow caught at them, v/ith an action so suspicious, that I 
was obliged to put him from me, and sending my ladies out 
of the room before me to the carriages, got in last myself 
and ordered the postillions to proceed. The pertinacious 
monk still continued to oppose my going, and even vented his 
anathemas on the drivers, if they presumed to move. When 
I saw at the same time that there was a party of dragoons 
mounting and parading at the gate with drawn swords be- 
fore the heads of my mules, I doubted whether they were in 
fact an escort of honour or arrest, but in a few minutes my 
leading carriage moved, and thus guarded I passed the bar- 
riers, whilst the monk keeping his hand upon my carriage, 
a]:id vociferating without intermission, never left me till we 
had passed through all the out-posts, and fairly entered the 
plain in sight of Badajoz. 

It was not pleasant, and I did not think that the proper 
precautions had been taken for me. When I had got rid of 
my monk, (the guard having taken no notice of his insolent 
behaviour) in about a league and a half's driving a foot's 
pace we came to a small stream, which divides the territo- 
ries of Portugal from Spain. Here we watered the mules, 
whilst on the opposite bank I perceived a paity of Spanish 
infantry waiting as it seemed to receive and escort me. My 
Portuguese dragoons in perfect silence wheeled about and 
departed, and no sooner had I touched the Spanish soil than 
the party presented arms, and a iixssenger in the livery of 
tJie king ^vitli his badge of office on his sleeve, signified to 


me that coaches were in waiting for me at Badajoz, and that 
he had his Catholic majesty's commands to attend upon me 
through my journey. During this, my Portuguese postil- 
lions, finding themselves in my power, and apprehending no 
doubt that their hesitation in obeying me against thedenun-' 
ciations of the aforesaid benedictine, might justly have of-r 
fended me, fell on their knees in the most abject manner, 
kissing the skirts of my coat and imploring pardon and for- 
giveness. Having ordered them to mount and proceed, wc 
soon reached Badajoz, and were received into the garrison 
v/ith all the honours they could shew us. As a town Badajoz 
has nothing to engage the traveller, and as a fortified place 
stands in no degree of comparison with Elvas. The troops, 
being mostly invalids, made a very indifferent appearance, 
but the windows and balconies were thronged with specta- 
tors, who bestowed every mark of favour and good will upon'* 
us as we passed the streets. 

Here I found a coach and six mules in waiting, and after 
some stay set forward at midnight, the gates being opened 
forme, and a guard turned out by order of the governor, and 
we proceeded to Miajada, where a fresh relay was in readi- 
ness. The province of Estremadura is miserably barren, 
producing nothing to relieve the eye but cork trees thinly^ 
scccttered, and here and there a few distorted olive trees. 
The like disconsolate aspect of a country, where neither' 
cattle nor habitations were to be seen, prevailed through the 
whole of our next stage to Truxillo, where we halted on the 
night of the 14th instant. i 

In this stage we were warned by our attendant messenger 
to be upon our guard against robbers, and in truth the coun- 
try furnished most appropriate scenes and inviting oppor- 
tunities for such adventurers. I had three English servants 
and two men hired in Lisbon, besides the messenger above- 
mentioned, and myself and my English servants in particu- 
lar were excellently armed and ammunitioned. My En- 
glishmen consisted of Pvlr. Hussey's man Daly, a London 
hair-dresser of the name of Legge, whom I took for the con- 
venience of my wife and daughters, and my own faithful 
servant Thomas Camis, of tried courage and attachment, who 
had lived with me faom the age of ten years. In the middle 
of the night, when we Avere in the depth of the forest, or 
rather wilderness, the Spaniard r®de up to my carriage win- 
dow, and telling me we were then in the most suspicious 


part of our road, recommended it to me to collect my peo- 
ple about me and keep them together. Daly mdeed was not 
far behind, but in a state of absolute intoxication and sleeping 
on his mule : my hair-dresser pretty much in the same 
state, but totally disabled from excess of cowardice, of which 
he had given some unequivocal and most ridiculous tokens 
before and during our action in the frigate ; I had not much 
reliance on my Postuguesc, one of whom was a black fellow, 
and in the mean time my brave and trusty servant Camis was 
not to be found,nor did he answer to any call. Distressed with 
apprehension lest some fatal accident had befallen this most 
valuable man, I got out of my coach determined not to move 
from the spot without him, and sent the Spanish messenger 
and two other men in search of him. During their absence 
I heard a trampling of horses, and soon discovered through 
the dusk of the night two men armed with guns which they 
carried under the thigh, who rode smartly up to the carriage 
and proved to be archers on the patrole. This confirmed 
the report that the road was infested by robbers, and whilst 
this was passing I had the satisfaction to be joined by my 
servant Thomas Camis on foot, his mule having sunk under 
him, exhausted' with fatigue. He now mounted behind 
the coach, and the men dispatched in search for him hav- 
ing come in, we pursued our route and arrived in safety at 

From Truxiilo we passed a very rugged and mountain- 
ous tract of country to Tenta del Lugar Nuevo on the banks 
of the Tagus. This is a very romantic station, and the bridge 
a curious and most striking object passing from one rock to 
another upon two very lofty Roman arches, the river flowing 
underneath at a prodigious depth. 

On the 1 6th we passed through La Calzada to Talavera 
la Reina, a town in New Castile of considerable population 
and extent. A silk fabric is here established under the 
king's especial patronage. Here the following letter from 
Mr. Hussey met me 

" From Mr, Hussey to Twe." 

" Aranjuez, Wednesday morning; 
14th June 1780. 
'* My dearest friend, 

" How could you suspect that I would send for you 
" if I found the obstacle in my way, which makes you so un- 


" easy ? But it was my intention to go part of the way fronfl 
*' Aranjuez to meet you, to indulge my affection by person- 
" ally attending you and your family as soon as possible ; 
" but as you do not mention what delay you intended to 
*' make in Badajoz, I cannot precisely guess the day oi 
" your arrival here, and therefore I dispatch this letter U 
" meet you at Talavera la Reina, that I may know it mori 
" exactly, which will be by returning a line to me, inform^ 
" ing me of the day, and whether you think it will be in th< 
" morning or evening. As the distance between Talaver 
" and Aranjuez is too great for one day's journey with th^ 
" same mules, I have ordered a fresh set to be posted fo 
*' you seven leagues from this place at La Venta de Oliaa 
" two leagues and a half from that part of the Tagus callei 
*' Las Barcas de Azecar, where you cross the water, an< 
" probably you will meet me ; otherwise you will come oi 
" and meet me on the road. This fresh set of mules wai 
" absolutely necessary, because you could find no place t< 
" sleep in between Talavera and xVranjuez. You do no 
" come through Toledo. I long to embrace you and mj 
" amiable friends, and open my mind to your satisfaction j 
" well as pleasure. 

« Adieu! 

« T. H." 

To this letter 1 answered as follows i 

" To Mr. Hussey:' 

" Talavera la Reina, Friday 16th 
June half-past 5 evening. 
" My dearest friend, 

" Your consolatory letter meets me at the end of a 
^ long and laborious journey, and like a magical charm puts 
" all my cares to rest at once. Say not however //ow could I 
" susfiect — Had that been the case, how could I advance ? 
" Yet I am come at every risque upon the reliance, which 
*' I am fixed to repose in your honour and friendship upon 
" all occasions. 

" I have entered on an arduous service without any con- 
" ditions, and I fear without securing to myself that sure 
" support, which they, by whom and for whom I am em- 
" ployed, ought to hold forth to me ; but you know full well 


** who is, and nvho is not^ my corresponding minister, and if 
" success does not bear me through in this step, which I 
" have taken, my good intentions will not stand me in much 
" stead. Still, when I saw that my reluctance would affect 
^* your situation, dash every measure you have laid, and an- 
" nihilate all chance of rendering sei-vice to my country in 
" this trying crisis, I did not hesitate to risque this journey, 
" even against the advice of Mr. W. 

'' We are not long since arrived after a most sultry stage, 
" and have been travelling all night without a halt. I dare 
" not but give Mrs. Cumberland an hour or two's repose, 
" and shall not take my departure from hence till midnight. 
*' I shall stop at La Venta de Olias to relieve my party from 
" a few hot hours, and shall be there to-morrow morning 
** about ten or eleven. I «hall set out from thence at seven 
" o'clock in the evening at latest, and reach the ferry at Las 
*' Barcas de Azecar at nine that evening— There if we meet, 
^* or whenever else more convenient to yourself, it will I 
*' trust in God be remembered as one of the happy mo- 
" ments, that here and there have sparingly chequered the 
*' past life of your 

" Affectionate R. C* 

From Talavera on" the 1 7th instant we came to the little 
village of Olias about half-way, where we took the necessary 
relief of rest, and as the weather was now intolerably hot, 
my v/ife and daughters being almost exhausted with fatigue, 
we laid by for the whole of the day. Here the Alcayde of 
the village very hospitably sent me refreshments, and called 
on me at my inn, offering his house, and whatever it afforded. 
I returned his visit, and found the good old man surround- 
ed by his children and grand-children, a numerous family, 
grouped in their degrees, and sitting in their best apart- 
ment ready to receive me. After chocolate had been 
served the guitar was introduced, and the younger parties 
danced their sequedillas. When they had animated them- 
selves v/ith this dance, the player on the guitar began to 
sound the notes of the fa.ndango : I had seated myself by 
the old grandfather, a feeble nerveless creature, and observ- 
ed with some concern a paralytic motion vibrating in all his 
limbs and muscles, when at once unable to keep his seat he 
■started up in a kind of ecstacy, and began snapping his fin- 
gers like castanets and dancing the fandango to my surprise 


and amusement. This was the first time I had seen it per- 
formed, and I ceased to wonder at the extravagant attach- ^ 
ment which the Spaniards show for that national tune" and 

On Saturday the 18th of June, at five o'clock in the morn- 
ing, we arrived at Aranjeuz, and were most affectionately 
w^elcomed by Mr. Hussey. He delivered a paper to me 
dictated by the minister, and first appearances argued favou- 
rably for my negociation. The day following I was visited 
by the sub-minister Campo, Anduaga and Escarno, (belong 
ing to the minister's department,) also by the Due d'Almo 
dovar, Abbe Curtis and others, and in the evening of that da; 
I had my first interview with the Count Florida Blanca. 

I shall not eater upon local descriptions ; it is neither t( 
my purpose, nor can it edify the reader, who will find all thii 
done so much better by writers who have travelled into Spaii 
and been more at leisure for looking about them than ever 
was. My thoughts were soon distressfully occupied by the ac- 
count which met me, of the riots and disturbances in London 
by what was called Lord George Gordon's mob, which all but 
quite extinguished my hopes of success in the very outset 
of my business. I had repeated interviews with the mini- 
ster, whom I visited by night, ushered by his confidential 
valet through a suite of five rooms, the door of every one 
of which was constantly locked as soon as I had passed 
it. The description of those dreadful tumults was given 
to the Spanish court by their ambassador at Paris, Count 
d'Aranda, and faithfully given without exaggeration. The 
effect it had upon the King of Spain was great indeed, 
and for me most unfortunate, for I had no advices from 
my court to qualify or oppose it. How this intelligence 
operated on the mind of his Catholic Majesty can only bid 
conceived by such as were acquainted with his characterjl 
and know to what degree he remained affected by the insur- 
rection, then not long passed, in his own caj>ital of Madrid. 
I will only say that my treaty was in shape, and such as my 
instructions would have warranted me to transmit and recom- 
mend. Spain had received a recent check from Admiral 
Rodney, Gibraltar had been relieved with a high hand, she 
was also upon very delicate and dubious terms v/ith France. 
The crisis was decidedly in my favour ; my reception flat- 
tering in the extreme ; the Spanish nation was anxious for 
peace, and both court, ecclesiastics and military professedly 


anti-gallicati. The minister did not lose an hour after my 
arrival, but with much apparent alacrity in the cause imme- 
diately proceeded to business. I never had any reason upon 
reflection to doubt the sincerity of Count Florida Blanca at 
this moment, and verily believe we should have advanced the 
business of the preliminaries, if the fatal nev/s of the riots 
Iiad not most critically come to hand that very day on which 
by the minister's own appointment we were to meet for fair 
discussion of the terms, while nothing' seemed to threaten 
serious difficulty or disagreement between us. 

According to appointment I came to him, perfectly igno- 
rant of what had come to pass in my own country : I had 
prepared myself to the best of my capacity for a meeting 
and discussion which it behoved me to manage with discre- 
tion and address, and which according to my vi^w of it pro- 
mised to crown my mission with success. We were to 
write, and Campo was to be present, so that when I entered 
the minister's inner chamber, and saw only a small table 
with a single candle, no Campo present and no materials for 
writing, I own my mind misgave me : I did not wait more 
than two minutes before Florida Blanca came out of his clo- 
set, and in a lamentable tone sung out the downfal of Lon- 
don ; king, ministers and government whelmed in ruin, the 
rebellion of America transplanted to England, and heartily 
as he condoled with me, how could he under such circum- 
stances commit his court to treat with me ? I did not take 
the whole for truth, and was too much on my guard to be- 
! tray any astonishment or alarm, but left him to lament the 
' unhappy state of my wretched country, and affected to treat 
I the narrative as a French exaggeration of the transitory tu- 
mults of a London mob. In the mean time I could not fail 
to see, that nothing was to be done on my part, but to yield 
I to the moment and wait for information, upon which I 
I might rely. All that I did in the interim was to address a 
\ letter to the minister, and confidently risque a prediction 
i that the tumult would be quashed so speedily and complete- 
i ly as to add dignity to the king's government, and stability 
|| to his ministers. He gave for answer that both his Catho- 
|| lie Majesty and himself trembled for the king, but of the 
I extermination of the ministry no question could be made, 
|| I renewed my assertions in terms more confident than be- 
■ fore, not so much upon conviction as from desperation, well 
knowing that, if I was undone by the event, it was of little 



importance that I v/as disgraced by my over confidence and 

In the course of a very few days my prediction was happi- 
ly verified, for on the 24th I was informed by Esearano that 
the rioters were quelled, Lord George Gordon committed 
to the tov/er, and indemnification ordered to the sufterers in 
the tumult, and on the day follovving the minister sent me 
the letter he had received from Count d'Aranda to explain 
why he had delayed to inform me of the news from London. 
I availed myself of this happy change by every means in my 
poAver for bringing back the negociation to that state of for- 
v/ardness in which it stood before it was interrupted, but the 
minds and understandings of those, with whom I had to deal, 
v/ere not easily to be cured of alarms once given, or preju- 
dices one received. It is not necessary for me to discuss 
the characters with whom it was my lot to treat, it is enough , 
to say that dumig more than a year's abode in Spain, I be- 
lieve no moment occurred so favorable to the business I had 
in hand, as that of which ill-fortune had deprived me in the 
very outset of my undertaking. There was a gloomy be- 
ing, out of sight and inaccessible, whose command as con- 
fessor over tiie royal mind was absolute, and whose bigotryjj 
was disposed to represent every thing in the darkest colour^ 
against a nation of heretics, whose late enormities afforded 
too good a subject for his spleen to discant upon ; and in the 
mind, where no illumination, no elasticity resides, impres- 
sions will strike strongly and sink deep. 

On the 26th I had completed my dispatches, in which I 
gave a full and circumstantial detail of my proceeding, the 
hopes I had entertained, and the interruption I had met 
v/ith, the conferences and correspondences I had held with 
the minister, and the measures I had pursued for reviving 
the negociation, and reconducting it according to the tenour 
of my instructions. In this dispatch I observe to the Secre- 
tary of Stiite, " That although I relied upon his lordship's 
'' kind interpretation of my motives for leaving Lisbon, yet it 
*^' was no inconsiderable anxiety I suffered till my doubts were 
'• satisfied upon the points which Mr. Hussey's letter had not 
'' sufficiently explained. As it appeared to me a case, where 
*^ I might use my discretion, and in which the inconvenien- 
" cies incidental to my disappointment bore no proportion 
" to the good, that might result from my success, I dccid- 
" edfor the journey, which I had now performed, and flat- - 


" tered rnyself his lordship would see no cause to^regret the 
" step I had taken." — 

" Had I not made ready use of my passports and relays, I 
" had good reason to believe my hesitation would have prov- 
^* ed decisive against my treaty ; whereas now I hud the sat- 
" isfaction of seeing many things point to a favoural^le and 
*^ friendly issue."— 

Speaking of a probability of detaching Spain antecedent 
to the news of the disturbances in London, 1 tell the Secre- 
tfiry of State — " Tluit the moment for detaching Spain is 
" now^'peculiarly favourable : she is upon the worst term.s 
*< with France ; not only the King of Naples, but the Queen 
*' of Portugal have written pressingly to his Catholic Ma- 
" jesty to make peace with England, and since my arrival a 
" further influence is set to w^ork to aid the friends of peace, 
" and this is the Daic de Losada, ;^ho on behalf of his ne- 
" phew the Due d' Almodovar has actually solicited the em- 
" bassy to England, and been favourably received. These 
" and many other circumstances conspire to press the scale 
*' for peace ; in the opposite one we may place their unre- 
" trieved disgrace in the relief of Gibraltar, their hopes in 
" the grand armament from Cadiz of the 28th of April, 
" their over-rated success in West Florida, and their belief 
" that your expeditions to the South-American continent 
" are dropt, and that Sir Edward Hughes's condition disa- 
" bles him from attempting any enterprise against the Ma- 
" nillas — " I then recite the circumstance that gave a 
check to my negociation, state the measures I had taken 
for resuming it, and transmit a summary of such points in 
requisition as require ansv/ers and instructions, eaid conclude 
with suggesting such a mode of accommodating these to 
the punctilio of the Spanish court, as in my opinion cannot 
fail to bring the treaty to a successful issue — '^ If this is con- 
" veyed," (I observe) ^' in mild and friendly terms towards 
" Spain, who submits the mode to the free discretion of 
*^ Great Britain, and requests it only as a salvo, I think I 
" have strong grounds to say her family compact will no 
*' longer hold her from a separate peace with Great Bri- 
" tain—" 

On the 27th I removed with my family to Madrid, where 
I took a commodious house in an airy situation, and on tl^e 
1st of July the king and royal family arrived from Aranjuez. 
Though I had frequent communications with Count Florida 


Blanca through the sub-minister Campo, which occasioned] 
me to dispatch letters on the 6th instant, yet I had no ap-l 
pointed interview till the 15th; our treaty paused for thej 
expected answer to my transmission before mentioned, and 
it was clear to me that the Spanish minister, under the pre-; 
tence of sounding the sincerity of the British cabinet, wasj 
in effect manoeuvring upon the suspicion of their stability J 
Nevertheless in this conversation, which he held on the ISth^ 
instant, he expressly declares, " That if Great Britain sends 
" back any answer which shall be couched in mild and mo- 
^' derate terms towards Spain, he will then proceed upon 
*' the treaty with all possible good will, and give me his 
*' ideas without reserve, endeavouring to adjust some expe- 
'' dient satisfactory to both parties ; but he fears that our mi- 
'• nistry is so constituted as to deceive my hopes in the tern- 
'* per and quality of their reply — '' 

During this interval, whilst I remained without an answer 
to my dispatch, the court removed to San Ildefonso, where 
Count D'Estaing arrived, specially commissioned to traverse 
my negociation, and detach the Spanish court from their 
projected treaty with Great Britain. France in the mean 
time sacrificed her whole naval campaign in the harbour of 
Cadiz, where a combined force of sixty line of battle ships 
was assembled, whilst the British fleet under the succes- 
sive commands of Geary and Derby did worse than nothing, 
and the capture of our great East and West Indian convoy 
by the Spanish squadron completed their triumph and our 

A mind so fluctuating and feeble as that of the Spanish- 
minister was not formed to preserve equanimity in success, 
©r to persist in its resolutions against the counter-action of 
opinions. He was at this period absolutely intoxicated not 
only by the capture of our trading ships, but by the alluring 
promises of D'Estaing, and surrendered himself to the self- 
interested councils of Galvez, minister of the Indies, for the 
continuance of the war. That minister, (the creature of 
France to all intents and purposes) had like himself been 
raised to high office from the humble occupation of a petty' 
advocate, and by early habits of intimacy, as likewise by su- 
periority of intellect, acquired a power over his understand- 
ing little short of absokite ascendancy. 

Through the influence of this man and by the intrigues of 
Count D'Estaing my situation at this period became as crit^ 


ical as possible ; my house was beset with spies, who made 
report of every thing they could collect or impute ; I was 
proscribed from all my accustomed friends and visitors, 
whilst no one ventured publicly to enter my doors but the 
empress's ambassador Count Kaunitz, whom no circum- 
stances ever separated from me, and a few religious, whose 
visits to me were more than suspicious. The most insidi- 
ous means were practised to break Mr. Hussey from me, 
but though they had their effect for a short time, his good 
sense soon discovered the contrivance and prevented its 

Finding myself thus beset, I attached to my service cer- 
tain confidential agents, who were extremely useful to me, 
and amongst these a gentleman in the employ of one of the 
nothern courts, the ablest in that capacity, and of the most 
consummate address, I ever became acquainted with ; by 
his means I possessed myself of authentic papers and docu- 
ments, and was enabled to expose and effectually to tra- 
verse some very insidious and highly important manoeu- 
vres much to my own credit and to the satisfaction of the 
cabinet, before whom they were laid by my corresponding 

I now received the long expected answer to my first dis- 
patch. It served little more than to cover a letter to Count 
Florida Blanca, and tliat letter found him now in the hands 
of D'Estaing, and more than half persuaded that the co- 
operation of France would put him in possession of Gibral- 
tar, that coveted fortress, whidi I would not suffer him even 
to name, and for which Spain would almost have laid the 
map of her islands, and the keys of her treasury at my feet. 
1 must confess this letter, which I had looked to with such 
hope, was more suited to gratify his purposes than mine, for 
if quibble and evasion were what he wished to avail himself 
of at this moment, he certainly found no want of opportunity 
for the accomplishment of his wish. 

But if the inclosed letter was not altogether what I hoped 
for, the covering letter was most decidedly v/hat I had not 
deserved, for it conveyed a more than half implied reproof 
for my having written to the Spaiiish Minister on the matter 
of the riots, and at the same time acknowledges that vdyfia- 
per was cautiously worded^ and that I had most certainly site- 
ceedcd in my argument — Why I was not to write to the min- 
ister, who had first written to me, especially whea I wrote 
u 2 


so cautiously and argued so suceessfuUy^ I could never com- 
prehend. When I was surprised by a very alarming an( 
unpleasant piece of intelligence, conveyed to my knowledgi 
through the channel of my country's enemy, not of my coun^ 
try's minister, what could I do more conformable to my duty! 
than attempt to soften the impressions it had created ? I haf 
not been more than five minutes arrived before the miniS' 
ter's letter and proposals were put into my hands. What"' 
could occur to me so natural both in policy and politeness 
as to write to him, especially on a subject ^o deeply inter- 
esting, so imperiously demanding of me an appeal, that to 
have sunk under it in silence would have been disgraceful im 
the extreme ? 

In the same letter I am reminded — That I was instructed: 
not even to converse upon any particular proposition,^ until 1 
was satisjied of the willingness of the Court of Spain to treat at 
all — Of this willingness his lordship professes to doubt, and 
grounds that doubt upon what he gathers from my report of 
the change, which seemed to have been wrought in the dis- 
position of the minister by the intelligence of the disturban- 
<:es in London ; whereas the conversation, which he alludes 
to, was held before that intelligence arrived^ when the wil- 
Ungness to treat was put out of all doubt by the very progress 
made in that treaty, and which was only not completed by the 
check which that intelligence gave to it. If when the pre-, 
mier of Spain assured himself of the total overthrow of our 
ministry he hesitated to proceed in treating with the agent 
of that ministry, it is nothing wonderful ; but it would have 
been wonderful, if when I had such proofs of his %villingness^ 
I had not been sadsfied with them, because something to-' 
tally unforeseen m.ight come to pass to thwart the business- 
we v/ere then engaged in. By parity of reason I might as' 
well have been made responsible for the riots themselves, 
as for the consequences that resulted from them. It is a pity 
^hat his lordship did not advert to the order of time laid dov/n 
in m.y dispatch, by which he could not have failed to discover,- 
that in one part of it I was reporting conversation held when 
all vv'as well, and in the other part remarking upon embar- 
rassments naturaHy produced by unforeseen events of the! 
most alarming nature. 

That I had been careful enough to have satisfactory proofs.. 
of a willingness to treat before I committed myself to con- 
versation is sufficiently clear from the circumstance above 



mentioned of the overtures presented to me in the very in- 
stant of my arrival, before I hud seen the minister, or he had 
seen my letter of accreditation. Willingncfis more uneqiii- 
cal hardly can be conceived, and when I did present that let- 
ter upon my first interview I reported to my secretary of 
state the sum total of my conversation, which consisting only 
of the following words, copied verbatim from the transcript 
of my letter to Lord Hillsborough, could not much edify his 
excellency, or divulge any secrets I was instructed to be re- 
served upon, ^ell his lordship in my letter of the 26th of 
June 1780, — '' That after the first civilities, I put into the 
minister's hands his lordship's letter, which I desired he 
would consider as conveying in the language of sincerity the * 
mind of a most just and upright king, who in his love of 
peace rejoices to meet similar sentiments in the breast of his 
Catholic majesty, and who has been graciously pleased to 
send me to confer with his excellency, not from my experi- 
ence in negociation, but as one confidential to the business 
in all its stages, and zealously devqied to conduct it to an 
issue — " I proceed to say — That " as this visit passed av hol- 
ly in expressions of civility, I shall observe no further to 
your kji^hip upon it, than that I was perfectly well pleased 
with m^jpfeeption." 

If in any one part of my conduct or conversation, I had 
advanced a step beyonckthe line of my instructions, or va- 
ried from them in a sin^e instance, I should not have sought 
to shelter myself under the peculiar difficulties of my situa- 
tion, I must have met the reproof I merited, and was certain 
to receive ; but when I was arraigned for giving credit to 
sincerity, when it did exist, and being doubtful of it, when it 
wavered, as I was not conscious of an error, I was not moved 
by a rej^Qof ; but witKimt entering into anv argumentation, 
unpr^JPble and extraneous, applied |fiy utmost diligence to 
the OTRiness I was upon, and continued to dictate to Mr. 
Hussey my dispatches for England, when I was disabled from 
writing them by a fractured arm. 

The instant I was able to endure the motion of my coach, 
I attended upon the minister Florida Blanca at San Ilde- 
fonsb : D'pstaing was there, in high favour and much cares- 
sed ; Hussey was not permitted to accompany me ; I was 
alone, and closely watchdd. It was the most unfavourable 
momejit that I passed during my whole residence in Spain. 
Florida Blanca, instead of taking up his negociation where 


236 MEilOIRS OF 


he left it, gave little credit or attention to the letter of Lord 
Hillsborough, but evasively adverted to certain propositions 
which he had made before I came into Spain and transmitted^ 
through the hands of Mr. Hussey, to which propositions he. 
observed our ministry had returned no answer — " I admitted 
that no answer had been given to the propositions he alluded^ 
to, because they were formed upon the suggestions of Com- 
modore Johnstone at Lisbon without any authority : it was a, 
matter I had in charge to disavow those overtures in the 
most direct terms ; they neither origina^l with the cabi- 
net, nor were ever before it ; but if he c^nd stand in need[ 
of any proof to satisfy his doubts as to the disposition of my 
^ court towards peace, I desired him to recollect that I had 
*been sent into Spain for that express purpose, without any 
interchange on his part, and against the formal practice of 
states in actual war.—" He acknov/ledged that my obser- 
vation w^asfair, and that he admitted it, but he again reverted 
to Commodore Johnstone, observing " That although he 
might take on himse^' to make unauthorized propositions 
(which by the way he must think was strange presumption^ 
and still more strange that it was passed over with impuni- 
ty) yet he said that he answered with authority tHAg|ropo- 
sitions had the sanction of his court, and a^s^i^HWoped 
they merited an answer fwm mine." It was now ciear to me, 
when he was driven to allude to th^e unaccreditated propo- 
sitions, that evasion v/as his only ol^ect. 

" Did he now sefer to ^en\," I asked, '^ as the actual ba- 
sis of a treaty ? — " 

He saw no reason to the contrary. 

" They contained," I said, " an article for the cession of 
Gibraltar." ^^ -•- 

They did. m ^ ^^ ^ 

" How then did ^M\ a stipulation accord with^|^ord 
given, that I shouldPoe subjected to no requisition^p that 
point ?" ^ 

He was now evidently embarrassed, and tui ning aside In 
the sub-minister Campo, held some conversation with him 
apart ; he then resumed his discourc^ but in a desultory 
way, and being one of the most irritable men living, was so 
entirely off his guard as to let out nearly the whoje of Count 
D'Estaing's intrigue, and plainly^ intimated that Gibraltar 
w^as an object, for which the king his master would break the 
Family-Pact and every other engagement with France, v/hich 


he exemplified by stamping the very paper itself under his 
feet upon the fiiarble floor ; when recollecting himself af- 
ter awhile, and composing his countenance that had been 
distorted with agitation, he said — " That if I would bind him 
to his word it must be so. However, if the article for Gi- 
braltar was inadmissible, what prevented our taking the re- 
maining propositions into consideration ?" 

I told him, and with truth, that I had seen his propositions, 
but was not in possession of them. " Would he put them 
down afresh anciipin me in discussing them ?" 

" The Abbe liussey had his original, and he had taken 
no copy." 

As I recollected enough of these propositions to know my-» 
self restrained from treating upon them, it occurred to me, 
as the only expedient left to keep the treaty alive, to consent 
to his sending them over by Mr. Hussey, who was now be- 
come heartily sick of his situation, and catching at every 
possible plea for his returning home. Still I was resolved 
that the proposal of sending over pro^lbMtions of that sort by 
Mr. Hussey should not originate with me, though I was per- 
fectly willing to acquiesce in it, as giving my ministers the 
chancq|ft£^^ing out of a war, v/hich I thought good policy 
would i^BR^ave sought to narrow in its extent than to wi- 
den, and which ever since I hadbe^i in Spain, presented no- 
thing but a succession c^disasters. 

This expedient of gettmg Mr. Hussey to be sent home by 
the minister with propositions, whjffeh, though upon a broader 
scale of treaty than my instructions allowed me to embrace, 
were yet in my opinion of them by no means inadmissible, 
appeared to me the best I could resort to in the present mo- 
ment. With ^bis ide||n my thoughts I asked Count Flo- 
rida Bl^ca ifheknew^Re mind of France, and whether he 
was i^Bpared'with any overtures on 'lifer part, which could 
be trmsmitted. — I put this question experimentally for I had 
obtained pretty full inforrn^on of what D'Estaing had been 
about. '^ 

He had by this time recovered his serenity, and with great 
dSSbe ration made answer to n^e, as nearly as it can be ren- 
dered, (for he always spoke in his own mother-tonpuejjto 
this effect^-'* We have no overtures to make on ti e paPp&i 
France^ France, as well as all the other courts, which ha\^:|| 
representatives here resident, has been very inquisitive 
touching your business in this place ; the only ansv,^r given 

23S mIMoIRS of 

on our part has been, that the Catholic King is an honour 
ble monarch, and will faithfully observe all hi^engagementa^ 
on the faith of this single assertion the whole matter rests 
If your court is sincere for peace, let her now set to worK 
upon that business, which sooner or later must be the busi- 
ness of all parties. We will honestly and ardently second 
her endeavours ; we do not put her to any thing, which may 
revolt her dignity ; we acknowledge and conceive the degree 
of sensibility (call it if you please indignation) which she 
must harbour against a state in actual alliaMe with the rebel 
subjects of her empire ; let her act with tnat dignity, which 
is her due, constantly in sight ; but let her meet his Catholic 
Majesty in his disposition for finishing a war, which can only 
exhaust all parties ; and as she best knows what her own 
interests will admit, let her suggest such terms, as she would 
receive, was France the proponent, and let her ccjuple them 
with terms for Spain, and if these be fair and reasonable on 
both sides, and such as Spain in her particular can possibly 
accede to, the Catholii^ing will close with her on his own,- 
behalf, and exert all his influence with his ally to make the 
peace^general. This is an arduous and delicate business ; 
let us cordially unite our endeavours to bring it foi^|.rd. I 
shall be at all times ready to confer with you freel(PRa with-' 
out disguise, and let no difference of opinion affect our per- 
sonal good understanding." ^ 

The day following this conference Mr. Hussey arrived at 
San Ildefonso, and having communicated to him what had 
passed and my wish for his going to England with the minis- 
ter's proposition, he readily agreed to it, and before that day 
passed the sub-minister Campo came to my house to sound 
me on this very expedient, managing as he conceived with 
great finesse to induce me to conselffto what in fact I much 
desired, and expressing, as from the minister, hi^d^nest 
hope that I would not quit Spain in the interim. UnplRisunt 
as my situation was now become, still I was unwilling to 
abandon the negociation, as I knew that D'Estaing was on his 
departure for Cadiz, where I had good reason to believe he 
would lose his influence and forfeit hisfpopularity. I then 
availed myself of his informers, and through their chan- 
nel gave out what I knew would come to his ears, and 
induce him to think that my negociation was totally 
desperate : accordingly I departed from San Ildefonso, 
leaving Mr. Hussey to settle propositions with the minister. 


I aiid the day following my return to Madrid, D'Estaing set 
\ out for liis command at Cadiz. Florida Bkinca offered to 
communicate to me copies of what he transmitted by Mr, 
j Hussey, but for obvious reasons I declined his offer. 

D'Estaing at Cadiz soon lost all the interest he had gained 
I at Court. He put to sea with his fleet against the protest of 
i the Spanish admiral, and with circumstances that rendered 
I him completely unpopular. The British fleet under admi- 
ral Darby was at sea in his track ; the French ships were in 
I the worst condition imaginable, but our fleet did not avail it- 
I self of the opportunity for bringing them to action, and they 
i reached their port without exch.anging a shot. How justi- 
! fiable this was on our part I will not doubt, how disappointing 
it was even to Spain, whose wishes had by this time turned 
about, and how derogatory in her opinion to the credit of our 
i arms, 1 can truly witness. 

I I had now manoeuvred the Abbe Hussey into a mission, 
I the most acceptable to him that could be devised, as it took 
him out of Spain, and liberated him from the necessity of 
I acting a part which he could no longer have sustained with 
; any credit to himself; for it was only whilst the treaty was 
I in train Avith the sincere good will of Spain that he could be 
I truly cordial in the cause : w^hen unforeseen events occurred 
' to check and interrupt the progress of it, his sagacity did 
not fail to discover that he could no longer preserve a middle 
interest with both parties, but must be hooked into a dilem- 
ma of choosing his side ; which that would have been when 
duplicity must have been thrown off, was a decision he did 
not wish to come to, tiiough I perhaps can conjecture where 
it would have led him. He had no great prejudices for 
I England ; Ireland was his native country, but even that and 
the whole world had been renounced by him when he threw 
himself into the oblivious convent of La Trappe, and was 
only dragged from out his cell by force and the emancipat- 
ing authority of the Pope himself. Whilst he was here dig- 
ging his own grave, and consigning himself to perpetual ta- 
citurnity, he w^as a very young man, high in blood, of athle- 
tic strength, and built as if to see a century to its end. It 
was not the enthusiasm of devotion, no holy raptures, that 
inspired him with this desperate resolution : it was tl.e sple- 
' netic effect of disappointed passion : and such was the change 
which a short time had wrought in him, that father Robin- 
son, the worthy priest with v/hom he afterwards cohabited, 


told me, that Avhen he attended the order for his deliverancf 
he could hardly ascerttiin his person, especially as he pei| 
sisted to asseverate in the strongest terms that he was in ' 
the man they were in search of. 

When he came forth again into the world, with passioni 
rather suspended than subdued, I am inclined to think h 
considered himself as forced upon a scene of action wher 
he was to play his part with as much finesse and dissimula*- 
tion as suited his interest, or furthered his ambition ; and 
this he probably reconciled to his conscience by a commo- 
dious kind of casuistry, in which he was a true adept. 

lie w^ore upon his countenance a smile sufficiently seduc- 
tive for common purposes and cursory acquaintance ; his 
address was smooth, obsequious, studiously obliging, and at 
times glowingly heightened into an impassioned show of 
friendship and affection. He was quick enough in finding 
out the characters of men, and the openings through which 
they were assailable to flattery ; but he was not equally suc- 
cessful in his mode of tempering and applying it ; for he 
was vain of showing his triumph over inferior understand- 
ings, and could not help colouring his attentions oftentimes 
with such a florid hue, as gave an air of irony and ridicule 
that did not always escape detection ; and thus it came to 
pass that he was little credited (and perhaps even less than 
he deserved to be) for sincerity in his warmest professions, 
or politeness in his best attempts to please. 

As I am persuaded that he left behind him in his coflin at 
La Trappe no one passion, native or engrafted, that belonged 
to him when he entered it, ambition lost no hold upon his 
heart, and of course I must believe that the station which 
he filled in Spain, and the high-sounding titles and dignities 
which the favour of his Catholic Majesty might so readily 
endow him with, w^ere to him such lures, as, though but 
feathers, outweighed English guineas in his balance ; for of 
these I must do him the justice to say he was indignantly 
regardless ; but to the honours that his church could give^ 
to the mitre of Waterford, though merely titular, it is clear 
to demonstration he had no repugnance. 

He made profession of a candour and liberality of senti- 
ment bordering almost upon downright protestanism, whilst 
in heart he was as high a priest as Thomas a Becket, and 
as stiff a catholic, though he ridiculed their mummeries, as 
ever kissed the cross. He did not exactly want to stir up 


petty insurrections in his native country of Ireland, but to 
head a revokition, that should overturn the church establish- 
ed, and enthrone himself primate in the cathedral of Armagh, 
would have been his brightest glory and supreme felicity : 
and in truth he was a man by talents, nerves, ambition, in- 
trepidity, fitted for the boldest enterprise. 

After he had negociated my introduction into Spain, and 
set the treaty on foot, the very first check, which it received 
by the disturbances in London, left me very little hope of 
further help from him ; but when the prospect was darken- 
ed by accumulated clouds, and he discovered nothing 
through the gloom of my embarrassed situation but a totter- 
ing ministry, a discontented people, an unquiet capital, our 
trading fleets captured, our fighting fleets no longer worthy 
of the name ; when he saw Spain assume a proud and con- 
quering attitude, and (buoyed up by the promises of France) 
blockading Gibraltar and preparing for the actual siege of it, 
he began to perceive he had engaged himself in a most un- 
pi'omising intrigue, and readily lent his ear to those, that 
were at hand and ready to intrigue him out of it. He was 
assidious in his homage to the Archbishop of Toledo, and in 
the closest intimacy and communication with the minister 
of the Elector of Treves, and all at once, without the small- 
est cause of oflence, or any reason that I could possibly di- 
vine, changed his behaviour as an inmate of my family, and 
from the warmest and most unreserved attachment that man 
ever professed to man, took up a character of the severest 
gloom and sullenness, for which he would assign no cause, 
but to all my inquiries, all my remonstrances, was either 
obstinately silent, or evasively uncommunicative. He would 
stay no longer, he was resolved to demand his passports, 
and actually wrote to Del-Campo to that purpose. To this 
demand an ansv/er was returned, refusing him the passports 
until he had leave from Lord Hillsborough for quitting 
Spain, which it was at the same time observed to him could 
not be for his reputation to do in the depending state of the 
business on which he came. Upon this he proceeded to write 
a short letter to Lord Hillsborough, demanding leave to re- 
turn : he was not hardy enough to dispatch this letter without 
communicating it to me for my opinion : I gave it peremp- 
torily against his sending it : I stated to him my reasons 
why I thought both the measure and the mode decidedly 
improper and dishonourable ; he grew extremely warm, and 
. w 


so intemperate, that I found it necessary to tell him, if he 
persisted in demanding his return of the secretary of state 
in those terms, that it would oblige me to Vvrite home in 
my own justification, and also to enter upon explanations 
"vvith the Spanish Minister, who might else impute his con- 
duetto a cabal with me, though it was so directly against my 
judgment and my wishes. I declared to him that I had not 
written a line, or taken a step without his privity, and that no 
one word had ever passed my lips, but what was dictated by 
sincere regard and consideration for him, and this was so- 
lemnly and strictly true : I said that I observed he had alter- 
ed his behaviour towards me and my family, which he could 
not deny, and I added that this proceeding must not only 
ruin him with the mxinister of Spain, but was such as might 
be highly prejudicial to my business, unless I took every pru- 
dent precaution to explain and avert the mischief it was 
pregnant with. The consequence of this conversation was, 
that he did not send his letter to Lord Hillsborough, but as 
he was not explicit on that point, I prepared myself with a 
letter to Lord Hillsborough, and another to Del-Campo, ex- 
plana,tory of his conduct, which upon his assuring me on our 
next meeting that he would not write to England, I also 
forbore to send. Upon the following day, without any cause 
assigned or explanation given, my late sullen associate met 
me with a smiling countenance, and was as perfectly an al- 
tered man, as if he had come a second time out of the 
cloisters of La Trappe. He was in fact a most profound 
casuist, and a confessor of the highest celebrity. 

I cannot say th% caprice of Mr Hussey gave me much 
concern, ©r created in me any extraordinary surprise, 
though I could never thoroughly develope the cause of it ; 
yet at that very time my life was brought into imminent 
danger by the unskilfulness of the surgeons, who attended 
upon me in consequence of my having received a very seri- 
ous injury by a fall from one of my Portuguese mules. I 
was riding on the Pardo road, wiien the animal took fright, 
and in the act of stopping him the bit broke asunder in his 
mouth. In this state, being under no command, he ran 
with violence against an equipage draAvn by six mules 
that was passing along the road in a train with many 
others. In the concussion I came to the ground ; the 
carriage fortunately stopped short, and I was lifted into it 
stunned with the shock and for a time insensible. I was 


bleeding at the elbow, where the skin was torn, and upon 
recoverhig my senses I found myself supported by my wife 
in her chariot, and probably indebted to her drivers for my 
life. Though I had cause to tremble for the consequences 
of the violent alarm I had given her, as she was now very 
near her time, yet in other respects it was a fortunate and 
extraordinary chance, that my accident should have tlirowii 
me immediately into her protection, who lost not an instant 
of tiilie in conveying me home. Two surgeons, sucji as 
Madrid could furnish, were called in and speedily arrived, 
but for no other purpose, as it seemed, except to dispute 
and wrangle with each other upon the question if the arm 
was fractured at the shoulder or at the elbow, whilst each 
alternately twisted and tortured it as best suited him in sup- 
port of his opinion. In the height of their controversy a 
third personac;e made his appearance in the uniform of the 
Guardes de Corps, being chief surgeon of that corps and 
sent to me by authority. This gentleman silenced-both, but 
agreed with neither, for he pronounced the bone to be split 
longitudinally from the shoulder to the elbow, and finding 
it by this time extremely swelled and inflamed, very pro- 
perly observed that no operation could be performed upon it 
in that state. He proceeded therefore to bathe it liberally 
with an embrocation, which he affirmed was sovereign for 
the purpose, but if his object was to reduce the swelling and 
assuage the inflammation, the learned gentleman was most 
egregiously mistaken, for the fiery spirit of the rum, with 
which he fomented it, soon increased ^th to so violent a 
degree with such a raging erysipelas arin a few days had 
every symptom of a mortification actually commencing, 
when the case being pressing, my wife, whose presence of 
mind never deserted her in danger, took the prudent mea- 
sure of dismissing the whole trio of ignoramuses, and call- 
ing to her assistance a modest rational practitioner in our 
near neighbourhood, v/ho under the sign of a brass-bason 
professed the sister arts of shaving and surgery conjointly, 
by reversing the practice so injurious and applying the barky 
rescued me from their hands, and under Providence preserv- 
ed my life. 

Here I must take leave to digress a little from the tenour 
of my tale, whilst I record an anecdote, in it^self of no other 
material interest except as it enables me to state one 
amongst the many reasons, which I have to love and revere 


the memory of a deceased friend, who devoted to me thi 
evening of every day vt^ithout the exception of one, vehich l' 
passed during my residence in Madrid. This excellent old 
ipan, Patrick Curtis by name, and by birth an Irishman, 
had been above half a century settled in Spain, domestic 
priest and occasionally preceptor to three successive Dukes 
of Osuna. In this situation he had been expressly the 
founder of the fortunes of the Premier Florida Blanca, by 
recommending him as advocate to the employ and patronage 
of that rich and noble house. The Abbe Don Patricio Cur- 
tis was of course looked up to as a person of no small consi- 
deration ; he was also not less conspicuous and universally 
respected for his virtues, for his high sense of honour, his 
bold sincerity of speech and generous benignity of soul ; but 
this good man at the same time had such an over-abundant 
portion of the aynor fiatrics about him, was so marked a devo- 
tee to the British interest and so unreserved an opponent to 
that of France, that it seemed to demand more circumspec- 
tion than he was disposed to bestow for guarding himself 
against the resentment of a party, whose principles he ar- 
raigned without mitigation, and whose power he set at open 
defiance without caution or reserve. • Though considerably^ 
past eighty, his affections were as ardent and his feelings a!^ 
quick as if he had not reached his twentieth year. When I 
was supposed to be out of chance of recovery this affectionate 
creature came to me in an agony of grief to take his last fare- 
well He told me he had been engaged in fervent prayer 
and intercession ,on my behalf, and had pledged before the 
altar his most earnest and devoted services for the consola- 
tion and protection of my beloved wife and daughters, if it 
should please Heaven to remove me from them and reject 
his humble supplications for my life : he lamented that I had 
no spiritual assistant of my own church to resort to ; he did 
not mean to obtrude his forms, to which I was not accustom- 
ed, but on the contrary came purposely to tender me his 
services according to my owh ; and was ready, if I would 
furnish him with my prayer book, and allow him to secure 
the doors from any that might intrude or over-hear to the 
peril of his life, to administer the sacrament to me exact- 
ly as it is ordained by our church, requesting only that I 
w^ould reach the cup with my own hand, and not employ 
his to tender it to me. All this he fulfilled, omitting none 
of the prayers appointed, and officiating in the most devout 


impressive manner, (though at times interrupted and over- 
come by extreme sensibility) to my very great comfort and 
satisfaction. Had the office of Inquisition, whose terrific 
mansion stood within a few paces of my gates, had report 
of this which passed in my heritical chamber, my poor 
friend would have breathed out the short remnant of his 
days between two walls, never to be heard of more. From 
six o'clock in the afternoon till ten at night he never foiled 
to occupy the chair next to me in my evening circle, and 
though I saw with infinite concern that his constitution 
was rapidly breaking up for the laSt six or seven weeks of 
my stay, no persuasion could keep hmi from coming to me 
and exposing his declining health to the night air ; at last 
when I was recalled and had fixed the day for my departure, 
dreading the effect, which the act of parting forever might 
have upon his exhausted frame, I endeavoured to impose 
upon him a later hour of the morning than I meant to take 
for my setting out, and enjoined strict secrecy to all my par- 
ty : but these precautions were in vgtm ; at three o'clock in 
the morning, when I entered the receiving room I found my 
poor old friend alone and waiting, with his arms extended 
to em.brace me and bathed in tears, scarcely able to support 
himself on his tottering legs, now miserably tumified, a 
spectacle that cut My heart to the quick, and perfectly un- 
manned me. He had purchased a number of masses of 
some pious medicants, which he hoped would be efficacious 
and avail for our well doing : he had no great faith in amu- 
lets, he told me, yet he had brought me^a ring of Mexican 
workmanship and materials, Very ancient and consecrated 
and blessed by a venerable patriarch of the Indies, since can- 
onized for his miracles ; wiiich ring had been highly pHzed 
by the late Duchess of Osuna for its efficacy in preserving 
her from thunder and lightning, and though be did not pre- 
sume to think that I would place the slightest confidence in 
its virtue, yet he hoped I wourld let him bestow it on the per-^ 
son of the infant daughter, which w^as born to me in Spain, 
whom I then gave into his arms, whilst he invoked a thou- 
sand blessings upon her. He brought a very fiine crucifix 
cut in ivory ; he said he h?A put up his laat prayers before 
it, and had nothing more to do but to lie down on his bed 
and die, which as soon as I depaited he was prep^ired to do^ 
sensible that his last hour w as near at hand, and that he 
should survive our separation a very few days* I prevailed 

W 2 


\vith him to retain his crucifix, but I accepted an exquisite 
Ecce Homo by El Divino Morales, and exchanged a token 
of remembrance with him ; I saw him led out of my house 
to that of the Duke of Osuna near at hand, and whilst I was 
yet on my journey the intelligence reached me of his death, 
and may the God of mercy receive him into bliss ! 

When I had so far advanced in my recovery as to be able 
to wear my arm in a sling, and endure the motion of a car- 
riage, I dispatched my servant Camis to San Ildefonso, and 
proposed to the minister a conference with him there upon 
the supposed mediation of Russia, on which he had thought 
fit to sound me. My servant^^tumed, bringing a letter 
from the sub-minister Campo, in which he signified the 
fninister*s wish that I would consent to defer my visit, but 
adds that " If I think otherwise I shall always be welcome — '* 
I well knew to whom and to what I was indebted for this let- 
ter, and naturally was not pleased with it, yet I thought it 

best and most prudent to answer it as follows 

" To Senor Don Bernardo Del Campo.^* 
" Dear Sir, 

" My servant returned with your letter of this 
day in time to prevent my setting out for San Ildefonso. 

" When I tell you that it is with pleasure I accommodate 
myself to the wishes of Count Florida Blanca, I not only 
consult my own disposition, but I am persuaded I conform 
to that of my court, and of the minister, under whose imme- 
diate instructions I am acting. The reconciliation of our 
respective nations is an object, which I look to with such 
cordial devotion, that I v/ould on no account interpose my- 
self in a moment unacceptible to your court for any consid- 
eration short of my immediate duty. I, am persuaded there 
is that honour and good faith in the councils of Spain, and 
in the minister, v/ho directs them, that I shall not suffer in 
his esteem by this proof of my acquiescence, and I know 
too v/eli the sincerity of my own court to apprehend for the 
part I have taken. 

'' At the same time that I signify to you my acquiescence 
as above stated, I think my predicament thereby becomes 
such as to^require an immediate report to my court, and I 
desire you will request of his excellency Count Florida 
Blanca to send me a blank passport, to be filled up by me 
■with tlie name of such person, as I may find convenient to 
dispatch to England by the way of Lisbon. 

1 am, S^c. R. CJ' 


This letter produced a most courteous invitation, and 
thence ensued those conferences already described, which 
separated Mr. Hussey from me, and sent him home with 
propositions, which my instructions did not allow me to 
discuss. By this chasm in the business I was upon, I 
found myself so far at leisure, that I was tempted to in- 
dulge my curiosity by a visit to the Escurial, and accord- 
ingly set out for that singular place with a letter from 
the minister to the Prior, signifying the king's pleasure 
that I should have free access to the manuscripts, and 
every facility, that could be given to my researches of 
whatever description. I had been informed by Sir John 
Dalrymple of a curious manuscript, purporting to~~be let- 
ters of Brutus, to which he could not get access ; these let- 
ters are written in Greek, and are referred to by Doctor 
Bentley in his controversy with Boyle as notoriously spu- 
rious, fabricated by the Sophists, of which there can be no 
doubt. I obtained a sight of the manuscript, and the fathers 
favoured me with a copy of the Greek original, and also of 
the Latin translation by Petrarch. I have them by me, but 
they are good for nothing, and bear decided evidence of an 
imposture. This the worthy father, who introduced him- 
self to me as librarian and professor of the learned languages, 
discovered by a very curious process, observing to me that 
these could not be the true letters of Brutus, forasmuch as 
they profess to have been written after the death of Julius 
Caesar, which he had found out to be a flagrant anachronism, 
assuring me that Brutus, having died before Caesar, could 
not be feigned to have written letters after the decease of 
the man who survived him. When I apologized for my 
hesitation in admitting his chronology, and asked him if Bru- 
tus w^as not suspected of having a hand in the murder of 
Caesar, he owned that lie had heard of it, but that it was a 
mere fable, and hastening to his cell brought me down a 
huge folio chronology, following me into the court, and 
pointing out the page, where I might read my own convic- 
tion. I thanked him for his solicitude, and assured him that 
his authority was quite sufficient for the fact, and recollect- 
ing how few enjoyments he probably had in that lugubrous 
mansion, left him in possession of his victory and triumph. 

I took nobody with me to the Escurial but my servants 
and a Milanese traiteur, who opened an empty hotel, 
and provided me with a chamber and my food. There 
wxre indeed myriads of annoying insects, who had kept un- 


interrupted possession of their quarters, against whom I had 
noway of guarding myself but by planting my portable crilj^ 
in the middle of the room, with its legs immersed in pails 
of water. The court was expected, but not yet arrived, ^nir,} 
the place was a perfect solitude, so that I had the best posSJI 
sible opportunity of viewing this immense edifice at my easS ' 
and leisure. 1 am not about to describe it ; assuredly it is 
one of the most wondrous monuments that bigotry has ever 
dedicated to the fulfilment of a vow. Yet there is no grace 
in the external, which owes its power of striking to the im- 
mensity of its mass : the architect has been obliged to sa- 
crifice beauty and proportion to security against the incre- 
dible hurriofines of wind, which at times sweep down from 
the mountains that surround it ; of a scenery inore savage, 
nature hardly has a sample to produce upon the habitable 
globe : yet within this gloomy and enormous resceptacle, 
there is abundant food for curiosity in paintings, books and 
consecrated treasures exceeding all description. There is 
a vast and inestimable collection of pictures, and the great 
masters, whose works were in my poor judgment decidedly 
the most prominent and attractive, are Raphael, Titian, 
Rubens, Velasquez and Coello, of which the two last were 
natives of Spain and by no means unworthy to be classed 
with the three former. Of Raphael there are but four pre- 
eminent specimens, of which the famous Perla is one, but 
hung very disadvantageously : of Titian there is a splendid 
abundance ; of Rubens not many, but some that shew him 
to have been a mighty master of the passions, and speak to 
the heart with incredible effect ; they throw the gauntlet 
to the proudest of the Italian schools, and seem to leave 
Vandyke behind him almost out of sight : of Velasquez, 
if there was none other than his composition of Jacob, when 
his sons are showing him the coat of Joseph, it would be 
enough to rank him with the highest in his art : Coello's 
fame may safely rest upon his inimitable alter-piece in 
the private chapel. Were it put to me to single out for my 
choice two compositions, and only two, from out the whole 
inestimable collection, I would take Titian's Last Supper 
in the refectory for my first prize, and this altar-piece of 
Coello's for my second, leaving the Perla and Madona del 
Pesce of Raphael, the Dead Christ of Reubens, and the Jo- 
seph of Velasquez with longing and regret, but lea\'ing- 
tliem notwithstanding. 

The Court removed from San Ildefonso to the Escuriul u\ 


a few days after I had been there, and I was invited to bring 
my family thither, which accordingly I did. My reception 
here was very different from what I had experienced at San 
Ildcfonso. The king, one of the best tempered men living, 
was particularly gracious ; in walking through his apart- 
ments in the Escurial, I surprised him in his bed-chamber : 
the good man had been on his knees before his private altar, 
and upon the opening of the door, rose ; when seeing me 
in the act of re tiring, he bade me stay, and condescended to 
shew me some very curious South-American deer, extreme- 
ly small and elegantly formed, which he kept under a net- 
ting ; and amongst others a little green monkey, the most 
diminutive and most beautiful of its species I had ever seen. 
He also shewed me the game he had shot that morning of 
various sorts from the bocafic^^^'-'to the vulture. He was alone, 
and seemed to take peculiar pleasure in gratifying our curi- 
osity. No monarch could well be more humbly lodged, for 
his state consisted in a small camp-bed, miserably equipped 
with faded curtains of old damask, that had once been crim- 
son, and a cushion of the same by his bedside, with a table, 
that held his crucifix and prayer book, and over that a three- 
quarters picture of the Mater -dolorosa by Titian, which he 
always carried with him for his private altar-piece ; of which 
picture I was fortunate enough to procure a very perfect 
copy by an old Spanish master (Coello as I suspect) upon 
the same sized cloth, and very hardly to be distinguished 
from the original. This picture I brought home with me, 
and it is now in my possession. His majesty's dress was, 
like his person, plain and homely ; a buff leather waistcoat, 
breeches of the same, and old-fashioned boots (made in Pall 
Mall) with a plain drab coat, covered with snuff and dust, a 
bad wig and a worse hat constituted his wardrobe for the 
chace, and there were very few days in the year, when he de- 
nied himself that recreation. 

The Prince of Asturias, now the reigning sovereign, was 
always so good as to notice the respect I duly paid him with 
the most flattering and marked attejition. He spoke of me 
and to me with distinguished kindness, and caused it to be 
signified to me, that he was sorry circumstances of etiquette 
did not allow him to shew me those more pointed proofs of 
his regard, by which it was his wish to make appear the 
good opinion he was pleased to entertain of me. Such a 
testimony from a prince of his reserved and distant cast of 


character was to be valued for its sincerity. On my way 
from San Ildefonso to Segovia one morning at an early hour,, 
as I was mounting a hill, that opened that extensive plain ti|l 
my view, I discovered a party of horsemen and the princA 
considerably advanced before them at the full speed of hh 
horse ; I had just time to order my chariot out of the roat^ 
and halt it under some cork trees by the way -side, and a<> 
cording to my custom I got out to pay him my res- 
pects. The prince stopped his horse upon the in- 
stant, and with his hat in his hand v/heeled him about to 
come up to me, when the high-spirited animal either re- 
senting the manc^uvre, or taking fright, as it seemed at the 
gleamy reflection of my grey mules half-covered with the 
cork branches, reared and wheeled upon his hinder legs in 
a most alarming manner. ''J^he prince appeared to me in 
such imminent danger, that I was about to seize the bit of 
his bridle, but he was much too complete a cavalier to accept 
of assistance, and after a short but pretty severe contest, 
brought his horse up to me in perfect discipline, and with 
many handsome acknowledgments for the anxiety I had 
shewn on his accoupt, in a very gracious manner took his 
leave, and pursued his road to San Ildefonso : he was a man 
of vast bodily strength, and a severe rider : the fine animal, 
one of the most beautiful I had seen in Spain, sftewed the 
wounds of the spur streaming with blood down his glossy- 
white sides from the shoulder to the flank. 

This prince had a small but elegant pavilion at a short 
distance from the Escurial, which in point of furniture 
and pictures was a perfect gem : he did me and my fami- 
ly the honour to invite us to see it ; at the appointed hour 
we found it prepared for our reception, with a table set 
out and provided with refreshments ; some of the offi- 
cers of his household were in waiting ; the Dukes of Al- 
va, Grenada, Almpdovar and others of high rank accom- 
panied us through the apartments, and when I returned to 
my hotel at the Escurial, the prince's secretary called on 
me by command to know my opinion of it. There could be 
no difficulty in delivering that, for it really merited all the 
praise that I bestowed upon it. In a very short time after, 
the same gentleman returned and signified the prince's ex- 
press desire to know if there was any thing in the style of 
furniture, that struck me as defective, or any thing I could 
suggest for its improvement. With the like sincerity I 


nade answer, that in my humble opinion the fitting of the 
nrincipal room in the Chinese style, though sufficiently splen- 
lid, was not in character with the rest of the apartments, that 
.vcrc hung round with some of the finest pictures of the Spa- 
lish and Itali-ui masters, where a chaster style in point of 
i ornament liad been preserved. 

J I heard no more o^ my critique for some days, and began 
5 o suspect that I had made my court very ill by risquing it, 
1 kvhen another message called me to review the complete 
I r.liange, which that apartment had undergone, to the exclu- 
I don of every atom of Japan work, in consequence of my 
( remark. 

It was on this occasion that the minister Florida Blanca 
i m the moment of that flivour and popularity, which I then 
; enjoyed, addressed me in a very different style from any he 
I had ever used, and with an air of mock solemnity charged 
me with having practised upon the heir apparent of the 
' crown of Spain by some secret charm, or love-fiowder^ to the 
j engagement of his affections, " v/hich," said he, " I per- 
i ''' ceive you are so exclusively possessed of, that I must throw 
I '' myself on your protection, and request you to preserve to 
! •' me some place in Iiis regard-—" As I had found his ex- 
1 ccllcncy for the first time in the humour for raillery, I en- 
) deavoured to keep up the spirit of it by owning to the love- 
i Uovjder ; in virtue of whichi had gained that power over the 
[ prince, as to seize the bridle of his horse, and arrest him on 
t he road, which led me to relate the anecdote of our rencoun- 
I tcr on the way to Segovia above-described. He listened to 
f me with great good humour, appearing to enjoy my narrative 
I of the adventure, and at the conclusion observed to me, that 
my life was forfeited by the laws of Spain ; but as he sup- 
posed I had no evil design against the prince himself, but 
• only wanted to possess myself of so fine a charger, as an 
r offering to my excellent and royal master, whose virtues 
I made his life and safety dear to all the world, he would in 
1 confidence disclose to me that order was given out by his 
i Catholic Majesty to select from his stud in the Mancha ten of 
the noblest horses that could be chosen, and out of those, up- 
t en trial of their steadiness and temper, to select two, which 
i I might tender as my offering to the acceptance of my sove- 
reign ; and this he observed was a present never before made 
to any crowned head in Europe but of his majesty's own im- 
mediate family, alluding to the King of Naples. 


A few days after my return to Madrid this gracious pro- 
mise was fulfilled, and two horses of the royarstud, led by 
the king's grooms and covered by cloths, on which the royal 
arms, &c. were embroidered, were brought into the inner 
court of my house, and there delivered to me. I flatter 
myself they were such horses, as had not been brought out 
of Spain for a century before, and not altogether unworthy 
of the acceptance of the illustrious personage, who conde- 
scended to receive them. 1 was at dinner when they arriv- 
ed, and Count Kaunitz the imperial ambassador, was at the 
table with me. I had not spoken to him, or any other per- 
son, of this expected present, and his astonishment at seeing i 
that, which had been the great desideratum of many ambas- i 
sadors, and himself amongst the number, thus voluntarily * 
and liberally bestowed upon me, (the secret and untitled 
agent of a court at war with Spain) surprised him into some 
comments, which had the only tincture of jealously that I 
ever discovered in him. A crowd had followed these hor- 
ses to the gates, which enclosed my courts ; one of these 
opened to the Plazuela de los AflBigidos, and the other to the 
street of the inquisition ; I caused these gates to be thrown 
open, and when the people saw the horses with their royal 
coverings upon them led into my stable, they gave a shout 
expressive of their pleasure and applause. If my very amia- 
ble friend Kaunitz was not quite so highly gratified by these 
occurrences as I was, he was perfectly excuseable. 

I kept these horses in my stables at Madrid, and should 
not have used them but at the special requisition of the 
royal donor ; when that was signified to me, my daughters: 
and myself rode them, as occasion suited, and as a proof how 
noble they were by nature, the following instance will suf- 
fice. As my eldest daughter was passing a small convent, 
not a mile from the gate of San Bernandio, a large Spa- 
nish mastiff of the wolf-dog kind rushed out of the con- 
vent, and seizing her horse by the breast, hung there by 
his teeth, whilst the tortured animal rushed onwards at 
full speed, showing no manner of vice, and only eager to 
shake off his troublesome encumberance. In this situa- 
tion she was perceived and rescued by a Spanish officer on 
' foot, who presenting himself in the very line of the horse's 
course, gave him the word and signal to stop, when to my 
equal joy and astonishment (for I saw the action) the generous 
animal obeyed, the dog dropped his hold, and the lady, still 



firm and unshaken in her seat, though alarmed and almost 
breathless, was seasonably set free by the happy presence of 
mind of her deliverer, and the very singular obedience of 
her royal steed, whose generous breast long retained the 
marks of his ignoble and ferocious assailant. 

When I had received my recall I sent these horses be- 
fore me under the care of two Spaniards, father and son, of 
the name of Velasco, who led them from Madrid through 
Paris to Ostend, walking on foot, and sleeping by them in 
.their stables every night ; and taking their passage from 
Ostend to Margate, arrived with them at my door in Port- 
land-Place, and delivered them without spot or blemish in 
perfect order and condition to his majesty's grooms at the 
royal Mews. 

If my gratitude to the memory of the late benevolent so- 
Tereign, who was pleased by this and many other favours 
graciously to mark the sincere, though ineffectual, efforts of 
an humble individual, defeated in his hopes by unforeseen 
events, which he could not controul, and afterv/ards aban- 
doned to distress and ruin by his employers for want of that 
success, which he could not command ; if my gratitude (I 
repeat it) to the deceased King of Spain causes me to be too 
particular, or prolix, in recording his goodness to me, it is 
because I naturally must feel it with the greater sensibility 
from the contrast, which I painfully experienced, when I 
returned bankrupt, broken-hearted and scarce alive to my 
native country. But of this more at large in its proper place . 

I have hinted at the surprise, which my friend Count 
Kaunitz expressed upon the present of the royal horses, it 
was again his chance to experience something of the like 
nature, when he did me the honour to dine with me upon 
the 4th of June, when with a few cordial friends I was cele- 
brating my beloved sovereign's biith-day in the best man- 
ner my obscurity and humble means allowed of. On this 
occasion I confess my surprise was as great as his, when the 
music of every regiment in garrison at Madrid, not except- 
ing the Spanish guards filed into my court-yard, and afford- 
ed me the exquisite delight of hearing those, w\ :> were in 
arms against my country, unite in celebrating the return of 
that day which gave its monarch birth. 

I frequently visited the superb collection of paintings in 
the palace of Madrid ; the king was so good as to give or-, 
ders for any pictures to be taken down and placed upon the 



eazel, which I might wish to have a nearer view of; he all 
gave direction for a catalogue to be made out at my request^^ 
which I have published and attached to my account of the 
Spanish painters ; he authorised me to say, that if the king 
my master thought fit to send over English artists to copy 
any of the pictures in his collection, either for engravings or 
otherwise, he would give them all possible facility and 
maintain them at free cost, whilst they were so employed ; 
this I made known on my return. He gave direction to his 
architect Sabbatini, to supply from the quarries in Spain any 
blocks or slabs of marble, according to the samples which I 
brought over to the amount of above a hundred, whenever, 
any such should be required for the building or ornamenting 
the royal palaces in England. 

I bear in my remembrance many other favours, which af- 
ter what I have related are not necessary to enumerate. 
They were articles, to which his grace and goodness gave a 
value, and exactly such as I could with perfect consistency 
of character accept. The present of Viguna cloth from the 
royal manufactory, which he had given to the ambassador 
Lord Grantham, in the same proportion was bestowed upon 
me. The superior properties of the Spanish pointer are 
well known, and dogs of the true breed are greatly coveted : 
the king understood I was searching after some of this sort, 
and was pleased to offer me the choice of any I might wish 
to have from out his whole collection ; but I had already 
possessed myself of two very fine ones, which his majesty 
saw, and thought them at least equal to any of his own ; I 
therefore thankfully acknov/ ledged his kind offer, but did not 
avail myself of it. 

The Princess of Asturias, now reigning Queen of Spain, 
had taken an early opportunity of giving a private audience 
to my yv^ife and daughters, and gratifying their curiosity 
with a sight of her jewels, most of which she described to 
be of English setting. She condescended to take a pattern 
of their riding habits, though they were copied from the 
uniform of our guards, and, when apprised of this, replied, 
that it was a further motive with her for adopting the fashion 
of it ; I rv member, however, that she caused a broad gold lace 
to be carried round the bottom of the skirt. She also conde- 
scended to send for several other articles of their dress, as 
samples, v/hilst they were conforming to the costuma of 
Spain to the minutest particular, and wearing nothing 


but silks of Spanish fabric, rejecting all the finerv of Lyons, 
and every present or purchase, however tempting, of all 
French manufactures whatever. Tliis lure for popularity 
succeeded to such a degree, that when these young English- 
women, habited in their Spanish dresses, (and attractive as 
I may presume to say they were by the bloom and beauty 
of their persons) passed the streets of Madrid, their coach 
was brought to frequent stops, and hardly found its passage 
through the crowd. A Spanish lady, when she rides, oc- 
cupies both sides of her palfry, and is attended by her lac- 
quies on foot, her horse in the meantime, movens^ sed non 
firomove7ifi^ brandishing his legs, but advancing only by in- 
ches. When my wife and daughters on the contrary, who 
were all admirable riders, according to the English style 
and spirit, put their horses to their speed, it was a spectacle 
of such novelty, and oftentimes drew such acclamations, par- 
ticularly from the Spanish guards whilst we were at the Es- 
curial, as might have given rise to some sensations, if per- 
sisted in, which in good policy made it prudent for me to 
iremand them to Madrid. 

Here I considered myself bound in duty to adapt my mode 
of life to the circumstances of my situation, and the undefin- 
ed character in which I stood. I was not restricted from 
receiving my friends, but I made no visits whatsoever, and 
the journal of any one day may serve for a description of the 
whole. The same circle assembled every afternoon at the 
same jnainute, and with the same regularity broke up. The 
ladies had a round table of low Pope-Joan, and 1 had a party 
of sitters-by. My house was extremely spacious, and that 
space by no means choaked up with furniture ; I had four- 
teen rooms on the principal floor, and but one fire place ; 
in this, during the winter months, I burnt pieces of vrood, 
purchased of a coach-maker, many of them carved and gilt, 
the relics of old carriages, and it was no uncommon thing to 
discover fragments of arms and breasts of Careatides, who 
had worn themselves out in the service of some departed 
Grandee, who had left them, like the w^reck of Pharaoh's 
chariots, to their disgraceful fate. I found my mansion in 
the naked dignity of brick floors and white walls ; upon the 
former I spread some mats, and on the other I pasted some 
paper. I farmed my dinners from a Milanese traiteur, ex- 
orbitantly dear and unpardonably bad ; but I had no resource ; 
they came ready cooked to my house, and were heated up 


afresh in my stoves. The lacquies, that I hired, had two 
shillings per day, and dieted themselves ; my expense in 
equipage was very great, for the mules appropriated to my - 
town use could not go upon the road ; others were to be 
hired for posting, and less than six had been against all rule. 
I had a stable full of capital Spanish horses, exclusive of the 
king's, three of which were lent to me for the use of the 
ladies, and two given to me by Count Kaunitz : one of these, 
a most beautiful creature of the under-size, and a favourite 
of my wife's, I brought' to England : the other was an aged 
horse, milk-white, the victor over nine bulls, and covered 
in his flanks and sides with honourable scars ; he had been 
uevoted to the amphitheatre under suspicion of having the 
glanders, but he outlived the imputation, and in the true 
character of the Spanish horse carried himself in the proud- 
est style of any I ever saw, possessing the sweetest temper 
with the noblest spirit, and when in the possession of the 
great Grandee Altamira, had been prized and admired above 
all other horses of his day. My eldest daughter seldom fail- 
ed to prefer him, but, thinking him too old to undergo any 
great fatigue, I did not risk the bringing him to England, 
but returned him to the noble donor. 

This amiable personage, son to the Imperial Minister 
Count Kaunitz, had been ambassador to Russia, and was 
now filling that distinguished station at the court of Spain. 
When I had been but a few days in Madrid, whilst I was in 
rny box at the comedy, Vv^ith my wife and daughters, he ask- 
ed leave to enter, and placed himself in a back seat : the 
drama, as far as I could understand it, seemed to be ground- 
ed on the story of Richardson's Pamela, and amongst the 
characters of the piece there was one, who meant to person- 
ate a British sea-captrdn. When this representative of my 
countryman made his entrance on the stage, Kaunitz, who 
perhaps discovered something in my countenance, which 
the ridiculous di^ess and appearance of the actor very possi- 
bly excited, leaning forwards and addressing himself to me 
for the first time, said — "T hope, Sir, you will overlook a 
** small mistake in point of costuma, which this gentleman 
** has very naturally fallen into, as I am convinced he would 
" have been proud of presenting himself to you in his pro- 
** per uniform, could he have found amongst all his naval 
" acquaintance any one, who could have furnished him with 
*^ a sample of it." This apology, at once so complimentary 


and ingenious, set off by his elegant manner of address, led 
us into conversation, and from that evening I can hardly call 
to mind one, in which he failed to honour me with his com- 
pany. In his features he bore a striking resemblance to the 
portrait, which he gave me of his father ; in his manners, 
which were those of a perfect gentleman, he was correctly 
fitted to the situation that he filled, and for that situation his 
talents, though not pre-eminently brirjant, were doubtless 
all-sufiicient. He was not unconscious of those high pre- 
tensions to which his birth and station entitled him, but it 
was very rarely indeed that I could discover any symptoms 
in his behaviour, that betokened other than a proper and be- 
coming sensibility towards his honour and his offecc. With 
a constitution rather delicate, he possessed a heart extreme- 
ly tender, and how truly and entirely that heart was devoted 
to the elder of my daughters, I doubt not but he severely 
felt, when frustrated in his honourable and ardent wishes to 
be united to her, he saw her depart out of Spain, and after 
one day's journey in our company took his melancholy leave 
for ever ; for after the revolution of a few months, when it 
may be presumed he had conquered his attachment, and re- 
conciled himself to his disappointment, this amiable young 
man, being then upon his departure for his native country^ 
sickened and died at Barcelona. 

There were two other gentlemen of the imperial party, 
who very constantly were pleased to grace my evening cir- 
cle ; the one Signor Giusti, an Italian, secretary of the em- 
bassy ; the other General Count Pallavicini, a man not more 
ennobled by the splendour of his birth, than by the services 
he had performed, and the fame he had acquired. In the 
short war between Austria and Prussia, this gallant officer 
by a very brilliant coup-de-main liad surprised a fortress 
and made prisoners the garrison, which covered him with 
glory and the favours of his sovereign : he was now makings 
a military tour by command and at the charge of the Em- 
press Queen, and came into Spain, consigned (as I may say) 
to Count Kaunitz, for the purpose of being passed into the 
Spanish lines, tlien investing Gibraltar. — Inta tliis fortress. 
he was anxiously solicitous to obtain admission,, and when na 
accommodation covdd be granted to his wislies through the 
influence of Coimt Kaunitz, I gave him letters to Mr. Wal- 
pole, which he carried ti)- him at Lisbon, and by a. roote-^^ 
which that minister pointed out, assisted by his sa\d my ia-- 


troduction to General Elliot, succeeded in his wishes, and] 
believe no mc'.n entertained a higher respect for the brav| 
defenders of that fortress, or a warmer sense of the gratify! 
ing indulgence, which they granted to him in so libeml i 
manner. Count Pallavicini was in the prime of life, of i 
noble air and high-born countenance ; tall, finely foiTned 
gay, natural, of>en-hearted ; his spirit was alive in everf 
feature; it did not need the aid of suscitation ; no dress 
could hide the soldier, or disguise the gentleman. He had 
a happy flow of comic humour at command, unobtrusive 
however, and only resorted to at times and seasons ; of the 
suavity and pomposity of the Castilian character he seemed 
to have taken up a very contemptible impression, and would 
no otherwise fall in with any of their habits and customs, 
than for the purpose of ridiculing them by imitations de- 
signedly caricatured. There are twenty ways of arranging 
the Spanish Capa ; he never would be taught any one of 
them, though he underwent a lecture every night at part- 
ing, but in an one-and-twentieth way of his own hung it on 
his shoulders, and marched off most amusingly ridiculous. 
I think it never v*^as my lot to make acquaintance with a 
man, for whom my heart more rapidly warmed into friend- 
ship, than it did towards this engaging gallant hero ; he 
continued to me his affectionate correspondence, till turning 
out against the Turks, and ever foremost in the field of 
glory, his head was sabred fi^om his Tiody at a stroke, and he 
died^ as he had lived, in the very arms of victory ; his ar* 
dent courage, though it turned the battle, did not serve him 
to ward off the blow. 

From this lamented friend, whose memory will be ever 
dear to me, I have now in my possession letters, written 
from Prague, where he had a separate command of eight 
thousand men, by which letters, though he could not pre- 
vail with either of my daughters (for he successively ad-^ 
dressed himself to each) to change their country and for- 
sake their parents and connections, yet I trust he was as- 
sured and satisfied from the answers he received, that it 
was because they could not detach themselves from ties 
like these, and not because they wxre insensible to his 
merits, when in their humble station they felt them* 
selves compelled to reject those offers, that would have 
conferred honour on them, had they ranked amongst the 


Tlie Nuncio Colonna, cardinal elect, paid me some atten- 
tions, and the Venetian ambassador favoured me with liis 
visits. The Saxon Minister, Count Gerstoff, was frequently 
at our evening parties, and the Danish minister Count Re- 
ventlau seldom failed. The former of these was an animat- 
ed lively man, and a most agreeable companion ; Reventlau 
had been in a diplomatic character at the court of London, 
and had brought with him the lan^-uage, manners and habi- 
tudes, of an Englishman of the first fashion. His partiality 
to our native country created in me and my family a reci- 
procal partiality for him, and so interesting was this elegant 
young Dane in person, countenance and address, that the 
eye, which could have contemplated him with indifference, 
must have held no correspondence with the heart. We 
passed the whole evening before our departure with this 
engaging and affectionate friend ; the parting was to all most 
painful, but by one in particular more acutely felt than I 
will attempt to describe. Reventlau was one, and not the 
eldest of a very numerous and noble family : his father had 
been minister, but his hereditary property was by no means 
large, and the purity of his principle disdained the accumu- 
lation of any other advantages or rewards, than those, which 
attached themselves to his reputation, and were rigidly con- 
sistent with the character of a patriot. 

Colonel O'Moore of the Walloons, a very worthy and res- 
pectable man, and Signior Nicolas Marchetti of the corps of 
Engineers, a Sicilian, were constant parties in our friendly 
circle. There were other Irish officers in the Spanish ser- 
vice, some Religious also of that nation, and some in the 
commercial line, who frequently resorted to me ; but to the 
generous and benevolent Marchetti in particul?.r, who ac- 
companied me through the whole of my disastrous journey, 
from Madrid, by the wr.y of Paris, I am beiiolden for the 
means that enabled me to reach my jiative country, as will 
appear hereafter. 

Count Pietra Santa, lieutenant-colonel of the Italian band 
of body-guards, was my most dear and intimate friend ; by 
that name in its truest and most appropriate sense I must 
ever remember him, (for he is now no more) and though the 
days that I passed with him in Spain did not out-nurnber 
tliose of a single year, yet in every one of these I hud the 
happiness to enjoy so many hours of his society, that in his 
case, as in that of the good old xVbbe Curtis, whilst we w^re 


but young in acquaintance, we might be fairly said to be old 
in friendship. It is ever matter of delight to me, when I 
can seethe world disposed to pay tribute to those modest ' 
unassuming characters, who exact no tribute, but in plain 
and pure simplicity of heart recommend themselves to our 
affections, and borrowing nothing from the charms of wit, 
or the display of genius, exhibit virtue — in itself how loTely. 
Such was my deceased friend, a man, whom every body with 
unanimous assent denominated the good Pietra Santa, whom 
every body loved, for he that ran could read him, and who 
together with the truest courage of a soldier and the highest 
principles of honour combined such moral virtues with such 
gentle manners and so sweet a temper, that he seemed des- 
tined to give the rare example of a human creature, in whom 
no fault could be discovered. 

In this society I could not fail to pass my hours of relaxa- 
tion very much to my satisfaction without resorting to pub- 
lic places or assemblies, in which species of amusement 
Madrid was very scantily provided, for there was but one 
theatre for plays, no opera, and a most unsocial gloomy style 
of living seemed to characterize the whole body of the no- 
bles and grandees. I was not often tempted to the theatre, 
which was small, dark, ill-furnished, and ill-attended, yet 
when the celebrated tragic actress, knov/n by the title of the 
Tiranna, played, it was a treat, which I should suppose no 
other stage then in Europe could compare with. That ex- 
traordinary woman, whose real name I do not remember, 
and whose real origin cannot be traced, till it is settled from 
what particular nation or people we are to derive the outcast 
race of gipsies, was not less formed to strike beholders with 
the beauty and commanding majesty of her person, than ta 
astonish all that heard her, by the powers that nature and art 
had combined to give her. My friend Count Pietra Santa, 
who had honourable access to this great stage heroine, inti- 
mated to her the very high expectation I had formed of her 
performances, and the eager desire I had to see her in one of 
her capital characters, telling her at the same time that I had 
been a writer for the stage in my own country : in conse- 
quence of this intimation she sent me word that I should have 
notice from her, when she wished me to come to the thea- 
tre, till when, she desired I would not present myself in my 
box upon any night, though her name might be in the bill, 
for it was only when she liked her part, and was in the hu- 
mour to play well, that she wished me to be present* 


, In obedience to her message I waited several days, and 
at last received ihe looked-for summons ; I had not been 
many minutes in the theatre before she sent a mandate to 
me to go home, for that she was in no disposition that eve- 
ning for playing well, and should neither do justice to her 
own talents, nor to my expectations. I instantly obeyed 
this whimsical injunction, knowing it to be so perfectly in 
character with the, capricious humour of her tribe. When 
sometliing more than a week had passed, I was again invi- 
ted to the theatre, and permitted to sit out the whole repre- 
sentation. I had not then enough of the language to un- 
derstand much more than the incidents and attion of the 
play, which was of the deepest cast of tragedy, for in the 
course of the plot she murdered her infant children, and ex- 
hibited them dead on the stage lying on each side of her, 
whilst she, sitting on the bare floor between them (her atti- 
tude, action, features, tones, defying all description) pre- 
sented such a high-wrought picture of hysteric phrensy, 
laughing wild amidst severest woe^ as placed her in my judg- 
ment at the very summit of her art ; in fact I have no con- 
ception that the powers of acting can be carried higher, and 
such was the effect upon the audience, that whilst the spec- 
tators in the pit, having caught a kind of sympathetic phren- 
sy from the scene, were rising up in a tumultuous manner, 
the word was given out by authority for letting fall the cur- 
tain, and a catastrophe, probably tv/o strong for exhibition, 
was not allowed to be completed. 

A few minutes had passed, when this wonderful creature, 
led in by Pietra Santa, entered my box ; the artificial pale- 
ness of her cheeks, her eyes, which she had dyed of a bright 
Vermillion round the edges of the lids, her fine arms bare to 
the shoulders, the wild magnificence of her attire, and the 
profusion of her dishevelled locks, glossy black as the plum- 
age of the raven, gave her the appearance of something 
more than human, such a Sybil, such an imaginary being, 
so awful, so impressive, that my blood chilled as she ap- 
proached me not to ask but to claim my applause, demand- 
ing of me if I had ever seen any actress, that could be com- 
pared with her in my own, or any other country. " I w^as 
" determined," she said, " to exert myself for you this 
" night ; and if the sensibility of the audience would have 
" suffered me to have concluded the scene, I should have 
" convinced you that I do not boast of my own performances 
^^ without reason/* 


The allowances, which the Spanish theatre could afford 
to make to its performers, were so very fcioderate, that! 
should doubt if the whole year's salary of the Tiranna would 
have more than paid for the magnificent dress, in which she 
then appeared ; but this and all other charges appertaining 
to her establishment were defrayed from the coffers of the| 
Duke of Osuna, a grandee of the first class and command^! 
of the Spanish Guards. This noble person found Jit indi^Sl 
pensably necessary for his honour to have the finest woman 
in Spain upon his pension, but by no means necessary to be 
acquainted with her, and at the very time, of which I am 
now speaking, Pietra Santa seriously assured me, that his ' 
excellency had indeed paid large sums to her order, but had 
never once visited, or even seen her. He told me at the 
same time that he had very lately taken upon himself to re- 
monstrate upon this want of curiosity, and having suggested 
to his excellency how possible it was for him to order his 
equipage to the door, and permit him to introduce him to 
this fair creature, whom he knew only by report and the 
bills she had drawn upon his treasurer, the duke graciously 
consented to my friend's proposal, and actually set out with 
him for the gallant purpose of taking a cup of chocolate with 
his hitherto invisible mistress, who had notice given her of 
the intended visit. The distance from the house of the 
grandee to the apartments of the gipsy was not great, but 
the lulling motion of the huge state-coach, and the softness 
of the velvet cushions had rocked his excellency into so 
sound a nap, that when his equipage stopped at the lady's 
door, there was not one of his retinue bold enough to un- 
dertake the invidious task of troubling his repose. The con- 
sequence was, that after a proper time was passed upon the 
halt for this brave commander to have waked, had nature so 
ordained it, the coach wheeled round and his excellency hav- 
ing slept away his curiosity, had not at the time when I left 
Madrid ever cast his eyes upon the person of the incompara- 
ble Tiranna. I take it for granted my friend Pietra Santa 
drank the chocolate, and his excellency enjoyed the nap. I 
will only add in confirmation of my anecdote, that the good 
Abbe Curtis, who had the honour of having educated this il- 
lustrious sleeper, verified the fact. 

When Count Pallavicini left Madrid and went to Lisbon in 
the hope of getting into Gibraltar through the introduction, 
ihat I gave him to the minister Mr. Walpole and others of 


my correspondents in that city, I availed myself of that op- 
portunity for conveying my dispatches of the 12th of De- 
cember 1780, to the Secretary of State Lord Hillsborough. 
They embraced much matter and very many particulars, in- 
teresting at that time, but now so long since gone by, that 
the insertion of them here could answer no purpose but to 
set forth my own unwearied assiduity, and good fortune in 
procuring intelligence, which in the event proved perfectly 
correct. On the 3d of the month following, viz. January 
1 178 1, 1 inform Lord Hillsborough, that " having found means 
I" to obtain copies of some state papers, the authenticity of 
i" which may be relied upon, I have the honour to transmit 
" them to your lordship by express to Lisbon — " These were 
all actual dispatches of the minister Florida Blanca, secret 
and confidential, to the Spanish envoy at the court of Peters- 
burgh, and developed an intrigue, of which it was highly im- 
portant that my court should be apprised. This project it 
was my happy chance to lay open and defeat by the acquisi- 
tion of these papers through the agency of one of the ablest 
and most efficient men, that ever was concerned in business 
of a secret nature : had my corresponding minister listened 
to the recommendation I gave of this gentleman, I could 
have taken him entirely into the pay and service of my court, 
and the advantages to be derived from a person of his talents 
and address were incalculable. He served me faithfully 
and effectually on this, and some other occasions, and it was 
not without the most sensible regret I found myself con- 
strained to leave him behind me. 

When I had sent my faithful servant Camis express with 
this important dispatch, I received the following letter from 
the Earl of Hillsborough 

" St. James's, 9th December, 1780. 
" Sir, 

" I have duly received your letters from No. 7 
to, No. 12 inclusive, and laid them before the king. The 
last number was delivered to me by Mr. Hussey. That 
gentleman has communicated to me the purport of Count 
Florida Blanca's conversation with him,, for which purpose 
alone he appears to me to have returned to London. The 
introduction of Gibraltar and the American rebellion into 
that conversation, convinces me that there is no intention in 
the court of Spain to make a separate treaty of peace with 


us. I do not however as yet signify to you the king'^s cdtA 
maud for your return^ though I see little utility in your -fi 
maining at Madrid. ^; 

" If you should obtain any further intelligence concern-' 
ing the mediation, which you informed me yoQ understood 
had been proposed by the Empress of Russia, I desire you 
will acquaint me with it. 

" Mr. Hussey undertakes to deliver this letter to you. I 
have nothing further to add, but to repeat to you, that the 
king expects from you the strictest adherence to your in- 
structions, without any deviation whatsoever during the re- j 
mainder of the time you shall continue at Madrid. \ 

" I am, with great truth and regard, ' 

" Sir, 

" Your most obedient 
Mr. Cumberland. " Humble servant, 

(Signed) " Hillsborough.** 

This was sufficient authority for me to believe that my 
mission was fast approaching to its conclusion, and I pre- 
pared myself accordingly. In the mean time Mr. Hussey 
who undertook to deliver this letter to me^ was stopped at 
Lisbon and not permitted to continue his journey into Spain ; 
for in fact the train, which my minister had now^ contriv- 
ed to throw the negociation into, was not acceptable to 
the Spanish court, and the rigour, with Avhich I was en- 
joined to adhere to my instructions, operated so effectually 
against the several overtures, which were repeatedly made 
to me on the part of Florida Blanca, that I must ever believe 
the negociation was lost on our part by transferring it to 
one, with whom Spain was not inclined to treat, and tying up 
m^y hands with whom there seemed every disposition to a- 
gree. In fact we parted merely on a punctilio, which might 
have been qualified between us with the most consummate 
ease ; they wanted only to talk about Gibraltar, and I was 
not permitted to hear it named ; the most nugatory article 
would have satisfied them, and if I had dared to have given 
in writing to the Spanish minister the salvo, that I suggest- 
ed in conversation after my receiving the letter above refer- 
red to, I have every reason to be confident that the business 
would have been concluded, and the object of a separate 
treaty accomplished without any other sacrifice than that of 
a little address and accommodation in the matter of a mere 


When some conferences had passed, in which, fettered 
as I was by my instructions, I found it impossible to put 
life into our expiring ncgociation, favoured though I was by 
the court and minister to the last moment of my stay, I wrote 
to Lord Hillsborough as follows — 

-^ « Madrid, January 18th, 1781. 
<< No. 19. My Lord, 

" In consequence of a letter, which Mr. Hus- 
sey will receive by this conveyance from Count Florida 
Blanca, I am to conclude, that he will immediately return 
to England, without coming to this court. In the copy of 
this letter, which his excellency has communicated to me, 
he remarks, that, in case the negociation shall break off 
upon the answer now given, my longer residence at Madrid 
will become unnecessary : and as I am persuaded that your 
lordship and the cabinet will agree with the minister of Spain 
in this observation, I shall put myself in readiness to obey 
his majesty's recall. In the mean time I Leg to repeat to 
your lordship, that I shall strictly adhere to his majesty's 
commands, trusting that you v/iil have the goodness to re- 
present to his majesty my faithful zeal and devotion, how 
ineffectual soever they may have been, in the fairest light. 

" Understanding that the king had been pleased to accept 
from the late Prince Masserano a Spanish horse, v/hich was 
in great favour, and hoping that it might be acceptable to 
his majesty, if occasion offered of supplying liis stables witli 
anotiier of the like quality, I desired permission of the min- 
ister to take out of Spain a horse, which I had in my eye, 
and his excellency having reported this my desire to the 
King of Spain, his Catholic Majesty was so good as to give 
immediate direction for twelve of the best horses in Andalu- 
sia of his breed of royal Caribaneers to be drafted but, and 
from these two of the noblest and steadiest to be selected, 
and given to me for the above purpose. I have accordingly 
received them, and as they fully answer my expectations 
both in shape and quality, and are superior to any I have seen 
in this kingdom, I hope they will be approved of by his ma- 
jesty, if they are fortunate in a safe passage, and shall arrive 
in London without any accident. 

" Don Miguel Louis de Portugal, ambassador from her 
most faithful majesty to this court, died a few days ago of a 
tedious and painful decay. The Infanta of Spain is sufficl- 



ently recovered to remove from Madrid to the Pardo, \vherc« 
the court now resides. 

" I have the honour to be, L^c.i^c, 

'' R. c:' 'i 

Whilst the court v/as at the Pardo, a complaint, founde 
on the grossest misrepresentations was started and enforced 
upon me by the minister respecting the alledged ill treat- 
ment of the Spanish prisoners of war in England. 1 traced 
this complaint to the reports of a certain Captain NuneM. 
then on his parole and lately come from England ; withthii|l 
gentleman there came a nephew of my friend the Abbe Cur- 
tis, v/ho had been chaplain on board Captctin Nunez's frigate^ 
when she was taken, and who was now liberated, having 
brought over with him a complete copy of the minutes of 
parliament, in w^hich the matter in complaint was fully and 
completely enquired into, and the allegations in question 
confuted upon the clearest evidence, Captain Nunez him- 
self being present at the examination and testifying his sat- 
isfaction and entire conviction upon the result of it. These 
documents the worthy nephew of my friend very honourably 
put into my liands, and, armed with these, I proved to the 
court of Spain, that, upon a sickness breaking out amongst 
the Spanish prisoners from their own uncleanliness and neg- 
lect, our government, with a benevolence peculiar to the 
British character, had made exertions wholly ovit of course, 
furnishing them with entire new bedding at a great expense, 
supplying them with medicines and all things needful, 
whilst in attendance on the diseased more than twenty sur- 
geons (I speak from memory, and I believe I am correct) 
had sacrificed their lives. If in the refutation of a charge so 
grossly unjust and injurious as this, I lost my patience and 
for a short time forgot the management befitting my pecu- 
liar situation, I can truly say it was the only error I commit- 
ted of that sort, though it was by no means the only instance 
that occurred to provoke me to it, as the following anecdote 
will demonstrate. 

There was a young man by name Anthony Smith, a native 
of Lcndon, living at Madrid upon a small allowance, paid 
to him upon the decease of his father, who had been watch- 
maker to the King of Spain. I took this young into 
my family upon t- e recommendation of the Abbe Curtis, and 
employed him in transcribing papers, arranging accounts 


and other small affairs, in v/hich his knowledge of the lan- 
giuip^e rendered him very usefuh One day about noon the 
criminal judge with his attendants walked into my house, 
and seizing the person of this young man took him to pris- 
on, and shut him up in a solitary cell without assigning any 
cause for the proceeding, or stating any crim.e of which he 
was suspected. I took the course natural for me to take, 
and from the effect, which my remonstrance and appeal to 
the minister instantly produced, I had no reason to think 
him privy to the transaction, for late in the evening of the 
next day Anthony Smith was brought to my gates by the 
officers of justice, from whom I would not receive him, but 
sent him back till the day following, when I required him to 
be delivered to me at the same hour and in the same public 
manner as they had cliosen to take him from me, and fur- 
ther insisted that the same criminal judge with his attend- 
ants should be present at the surrender of their prisoner. 
All this w^as exactly complied with, and the foolish magis- 
trate was hooted at by the populace in the most contemptu- 
ous manner. It seemed that this wise judge was in search 
of an assassin, who was described as an old black-complex- 
ioned fallow with a lame foot, whereas Smith v/as a very 
fair young man, with red hair, and perfectly sound and ac- 
tive upon the legs. What were the motives for this wanton 
act of cruelty I never could discover ; I brought him wdth 
me to England, but the terrors he had suffered during his 
short but dismal confinement haunted him through every 
stage of his journey, till we passed the frontiers of Spain. 
When we arrived in London I recommended him to my 
friend Lord Rodney, as Spanish clerk on board his flag ship, 
but poor Smith's spirit was so broken, that he declined the 
service, and found a more peaceful occupation in a merchant's 

I was now in daily expectation of my recall, and as my ov/n 
immediate negociation was shifted, for a time, into other 
hands, I availed myself of those means, v/hich by my parti- 
cular connexions I was possessed of, for collecting such a 
body of useful information, as might safely be depended up- 
on, and this I transmitted to my corresponding minister in 
my dispatches No. 20 of the 31st of January, and No. 21 of 
the 3d of February, 1781. I had now no longer any hope 
of bringing Spain into a separate treaty, whilst my court con- 
tinued to receive oveitures, and return answers, through the 


channel of ?»lr. Hiissey then at Lisbon, and Florida Blanca 
having imparted to me a dispatch, which he affected to call 
his uilimatum, I plainly saw extinction to the treaty upon 
the face of that paper, for he would still persist in the delu- 
sive notion, that he could insinuate articles and stipulations 
for Gibraltar in his communications through Mr. Hussey, 
though I by my instructions could not pass a single propo- 
sition, in which it might be named. When he had wiitten 
this letter, v/hich he called his ultimatumj it seems to have 
occurred to him to communicate it to me rather too late for 
any good purpose, inasmuch as he had taken His Catholic 
rV'Iajesty's pleasure upon it, and m.ade it a state-paper, before 
he put it into my hands. He nevertheless was earnest with 
me to give him my opinion of it, and I did not hold myself 
in any respect bound to disguise from him what I thought 
of it, neither did I scruple to suggest to him the idea, which 
I had formed in my mind, of an expedient, that might have 
V.onciliated both parties, and would at all events have obviat- 
ed those consequences, to which his unqualifijed requisition 
t:ouId not fail to lead. It will suffice to say that he candidly 
declared his readiness to adopt my idea, and form his letter 
anew in conformity to it, if he had not, by laying it before 
tlie King, made it a state-paper, and put it out of his power 
to alter and new-model it, without a second reference to the 
royal pleasure. This however he was perfectly disposed to 
do, provided I would give him my suggestions iyi writings as 
a produceable authority for re-considering the question. 
Here my instructions stood so irremoveably in my way, 
that, although he tendered me his honour that my interfe- 
rence shiould be kept secret, I did not venture to commiit 
myself, nor could he be brought to consider conversation as 

Upon the failure of this my last effort I regarded the ne- 
gociation as lost, and, reflecting upon wiiat had passed in the 
conference above referred to, when I had finished my letter 
No. 20 of the 31st of January, 1781, I attached to it the fol- 
lowing paragraph, viz. — 

*^ Since Count Florida Blanca dispatched his express to 
Lisbon I have not heard from Mr. Hussey, neither do I know 
any thing of his commission, but what Count Florida Blan- 
ra's answer opens to me, and as I must believe that in great 
part a finesse, I cannot but lament, that it had not been prC" 
pared by discussion . — " 


As the court of Spain was now become the centre of some 
very interesting and important intrigues, by which she was 
attempting to impose the project of a general pacification 
under the pretended mediation of Russia only, and to substi- 
tute this project in the place of the separate and exclusive 
treaty, now on the point of dissolution, I felt myself justifi- 
ed in taking every measure, which my judgment dictated, 
and my connexions gave me opportunity to pursue, for 
bringing that event to pass, of which I apprize Lord Hills- 
borough in the following paragraph of my letter No. 20, 
viz. — 

" An express from Vienna brought to Count Kaunitz, in 
the evening of the 27th instant, the important particulars 
relative to the mediation of his imperial majesty jointly with- 
the empress of Russia. This court being at the Pardo, th^ 
Ambassador Kaunitz took the next day for communicating 
with Count Florida Blanca, and yesterday a courier arrived 
from Paris with the instructions of that court to Count 
Montmorin on the subject. 

" When the minister of Spain shall deliver the sentiments 
of His Catholic Majesty to the imperial ambassador, which 
will take place on the day after to-morrow, they will probably 
be found conformable to those of France, of which I find 
Count Kaunitz is already possest. I shall think it my duty 
to apprize your lordship of any particulars, that may come 
to my knowledge, proper for your information.—" 

In my letter No. 21, of the 3d of February, I acquaint 
Lord Hillsborough that " the answer of Spain to the propo- 
sition of the Emperor's mediation was made on the clay 
mentioned in my letter No. 20, and as I then believed it 
would conform to that of France, so in effect it happened, 
with this further circumstance, that in future reference is to 
be made to the Spa.nish ambassador at Paris, v/ho in concert 
with the minister of France is to speak for his court, being 
instructed in all cases for that purpose." 

Upon this arrangement I observe that it is made — ^' As 
well to sooth the jealousy of the French court, who in their 
answer glanced at the separate negociation here carrying on 
with Great Britain, as for other obvious reasons — " In 
speaking of the Emperor's proposed mediation I explain 
the reasons that prevc;dled with me for expressing my wish- 
es in a letter No. 8 of the 4th of August — " That tlie good 
offices of the imperial court might maintain their preceden - 


cy before those of any other, and that I am well assucedi 
was owini^ to the knowlecl.f^e Russia had of these overtur 
iTiadcTby the imperial court, that she put her propositions toJ 
the bellii^erent powers in terms so guarded and so general>j 
as sr.oiild not awaken any jealousy in the first proponent," 
and I add, '*• that I know the instructions of Monsieur dei 
Zinowieff, the Russian ambassador, to have been so precise! 
on this liead, so far removed from all idea of the formal over-l 
ture pretended by the Spanish minister, that I think he I 
would liardly have been induced to deliver in any nuritingy 
as Monsieur Siniolin did in London, although it had been so 

I shall obtrude upon my readers only one more extract 
from this letter, in which — " I beg leave to add a word in 
explanation of what I observe at the conclusion of my letter 
No. 20, touching the answer made to Mr. Hussey, viz. that 
k vj- J to be ivisked it had been jireceded by a discussion — this 
I said, ray Lord, because the answer was no sooner settled 
and given to the King, than a disposition evidently took 
place to have re-considered and modified the stipulation for 
Gibraltar, novr so glaringly inadmissible ; but this and every 
other observation toucllng our negociation, traversed by so 
many unforeseen events, will for the future, as I hope, find 
its course in a jnore general and successful channel-^." 

i make no other comment upon the good or ill policy of 
laying me imder those restrictions, but that I could else have 
prevented the transmission of that article, v/hich gave the 
deatii-blow to my negociation. 

For .this I v/as prepared, and after the revolution of a few 
days received his majesty's recall, communicated to me in 
the followin,g letter : 

" St. James's, 14th February, 178 L 
^^ Sh>, 

'^ I am sorry to find from your last letter No. 19, and from 
that written from Count de Florida Blanca to Mr. Flussey, 
which' the latter received at Lisbon, that an entire stop is 
put to the pleasing expectation, which had been formed from 
your residence in Spain. Had I been as well informed of 
the intentions of the court of Madrid when you went abroad, 
as I now ani, you would certainly not have had the trouble 
and fatit;ue of so long a voyage and journey. 

" There remains nothing now for me but to acquaint you, 
tbat I am commanded by the king to signify to you his ma- 


jesty's pleasure, that you do immediately return to Eni^- 
land : when I say immediately, it is not intended that your 
departure should have the appearance of resentment, or 
that you should be deprived of the opportunity of expressinj^- 
a just sense of the marks of civility and attention, which Mr. 
Cumberland has received since his arrival in Madrid. 
I am, with ^reat truth and regard, 

Your most obedient 
Humble servant, 
(Signed) Hillsborough." 

I had now his majesty's commands, signified to me as 
above, for my return to England, and his lordship's inter- 
pretiition of them to direct my behaviour in avoiding all ap- 
pearance of resentment^ which I did not feel, and express- 
ing that sense of gratitude, which I did feel, for the many 
marks of civility and attention, v/hich I had received in the 
person of i1/r. Cumberland^ since his arrival in Madrid. To 
these excellent rules of conduct I was prepared to pay the 
most correct and cheerful obedience. 

For the favour of his lordship's information, that he would 
have spared me the trouble and fatigue of my long journey, 
if he had been aware that tliere was no occasion for my taking 
it, I could not but be duly thankful, and I am most sincere- 
ly sorry that nobody could be found with prescience to in- 
form his lordship v/hatthe intentions of the court of Madrid 
would be for a whole year to come, nor to apprize me v/hat 
my recompense would be upon the expiration of it. If such 
inspiration had been vouchsafed to both, I think I can guess 
who would have been the greater gainer of the two. 

Had any kind good-natured incendiary been so confiden- 
tial as to have told me, that it was his intention to set fire to 
London as soon as I was well out of it ; or had Count Flori- 
da Blanca had the candour to have premised, that his invita- 
tion of me into Spain had no other object in view but to give 
nie the amusement of a tour, and himself the pleasure of 
my company, it would perhaps have been very flattering to 
my vanity, but I don't think it would have suited my prin- 
ciple to have passed it o^ for a negociation, and I am quite 
convinced it would not have suited my finances to have paid 
his exci:llency the visit, and sacrificed my fortune to the 
amusement of it. 

It certainly would be extremely convenient, if wx could 


always see to the end of an experiment before we undertak 
it. I could not see to the end of the riots in London, whejj 
they were reported to be so terrible, yet I had predicted al 
truly as if I had foreseen it, and was reprimanded notwithi 
standing; if then I acted wrong by guessing right at the 
only favourable occurrence, that happened whilst I was in 
Spain, how should I have escaped a severer reproof if I had 
been as successful in foretelling the many evil occurrences 
of that disastrous year, during the whole course of which ^ 
kept alive a treaty, which was never lost till it was taken oulj 
of my hands ? 

If here I seem to speak too vainly of my unsuccessful" 
services, I have to appeal to the testimony of that great and 
able minister. Prince Kaunitz, who together with his tender 
of the mediation of the imperial court, communicated to the 
British cabinet, suggests a wish, that I may be included ia 
the commission, if such shall be appointed at the general 
congress ; and is pleased to give for his reason, the favour- 
able impressions, which his correspondence with Spain, had 
given him, of my conduct there in carrying on a very ardu- 
ous business, which many circumstances contributed to 
embarrass. — This I should never have had the gratification 
to know, had it not been communicated to me by a friend 
after my return to England, who, concluding I had been 
informed of it, was complimenting me upon it. Thus I 
went abroad to find friendship and protection, and came home 
to meet mjustice and oppression. 

If the following fact, which is correctly true, and which 
I now for the first time make public, shall prove that those, 
whom I could not put at peace wich my country, were yet at 
perfect peace with me, I hope I shall not be suspected of 
having overstrained the privilege allowed me by my letter of 
recall, and carried my complaisance too far upon my farev/ell 
visit to the Spanish minister at the Pardo, I certainly har- 
boured no resentment in my heart, and having free leave 
to avoid the appearance of it, had no object but to expres^L 
as well as I was able the grateful sense I entertained of the 
many favours which the King and court of Spain had conde- 
scended to bestow upon me and mine. In replying to these 
acknowledgments, so justly due. Count Florida Blanca, as- 
suming an air of more than ordinary gravity, and delivering 
himself slowly and distinctly, as one, who wishes that a 
word should not be lost, addressed the following speech to 


me, which according to my invariable practice, I wrote 
\lo\vn and rendered into English in my entry book, whilst it 
was yet fresh in my memory ; and from that record I have 
transcribed not only this, but every other speech, that I have 
given as authentic in these Memoirs-r 

*' Sir, the King my Sovereign has been entirely satisfied 
with every part of your conduct during the time you have 
resivled amongst us. His majesty is convinced that you 
have done your duty to your own court, and exerted yourself 
with sincere good will to promote that pacification, which 
circumstances out of your reach to foresee, or to controul, 
seem for the present to have suspended. And now, Sir, 
you will be pleased to take in good part what I have to say 
to you with regard to your claims for indemnification on the 
score of your expenses, in which I have reason to appre- 
hend you vvdli find yourself abandoned and deceived by your 
employers. I have it therefore in command to tell you, 
that the King my Sovereign has taken this into his gracious 
consideration, and tenders to you through me full and ample 
compensation for all expenses, which you have incurred by 
your coming into Spain ; being unwilling that a gentleman, 
who has resorted to his court,, and put himself under his im- 
mediate protection, Avithout a public character, honestly 
endeavouring to promote the mutual good and benefit of 
both countries, should suffer, as you surely will do, if you 
withstand the offer, which I have now the honour to make 
knov/n to you — ." 

What I said in answer to this generous, but inadmissible 
offer, I shall make no parade of ; it is enough to say that I 
did not accept a single dollar from the King of Spain, or any 
in authority under him, which, as far as a negative can be 
proved, was made clear, when upon my journey homewards 
my bills were stopped, and my credit so completely bank- 
rupt, that I might have gone to prison at Bayonne, if I had 
not borrowed five hundred pounds of my friendly fellow- 
traveller Marchetti, which enabled me to pay my way 
through France and reach my own country. 

How it came to pass that my circumstances should be so 
well known to Count Florida Blanca is easily accounted for, 
when the dishonouring of my bills by Mr. Devisme at Lis- 
bon, through whose hands the Spanish banker passed them, 
was notorious to more than half Madrid, and could not be 
unknov/n to the minister. The fact is, that I had come into 


Spain without any other security than the good faith of go^ 
ernment, upon promise pledged to me through Mr. Robini 
son, secretary of the treasury, that all bills drawn by me 
upon my banker in Pall Mall, should be instantly replaced 
to my credit, upon my accompanying them with a letter of 
advice to the said secretary Robinson. This letter of advice 
I regularly attached to every draft I made upon Messrs. 
Crofts, Devaynes 8c Co. but from the day that I left London 
to the day that I returned to it, including a period of four- 
teen months, not a single shilling was replaced to my ac- 
count with my bankers, who persisted in advancing to my 
occasions with a liberality and confidence in my honour, that 
I must ever reflect upon vvith the warmest gratitude. If I 
was improvident in relying upon these assurances, they^ 
who made them, were inexcusable in breaking them, and 
betraying me into unmerited distress. I solemnly aver thafL 
I had the positive pledge of Treasury through Mr. Robin< 
son for replacing every draft I should make upon my banker 
and a very large sum was named, ?^s applicable at my dia 
cretion, if the service should require it. I could explaii 
this further, but I forbear. I had one thousand pounds ad 
vanced to me upon setting out ; my private credit suppliei 
every farthing beyond that ; for the truth of which I neet 
only to refer the reader to the following letter—* 

" To John Robinson, Esquire, ^c. 

" Madrid, 8th of March, 1781. 
*'« Sir, 

" My banker informs me of a difficulty, which hai 
arisen in replacing the bills, which I have had occasior 
to draw upon him for the expenses of my commission a 
this court. 

" As I have not had the honour of hearing from you on 
this subject, and as it does not appear that he had seen yon 
when he wrote to me, the alarm, which such an event wouh 
else have given me, is mitigated by this consideration, as 
am sure there can be no intention in governm.ent to disgrace 
me at this court in a commission, undertaken on my par 
without any other stipulation than that of defraying my ex» 
penses. I flatter myself therefore that you have before thii 
done what is needful in conformity to what was settled orf 
our parting. Sufler me to add, that by the partition I havi 


I made of my office with the gentleman who executes it, by 
I the expenses preparatory to my journey, all which I took 
: on myaelf, and by many others since my departure, which 
I I have not thought proper to put to the public account, I have 
I greatly burdened my private alTairs during my attendance on 
[ the business 1 am engaged in. 

" That I have regulated my family here for the space of 
; near a twelvemonth with all possible oeconomy upon a scale 
in every respect as private, and void of ostentation, as pos- 
I sible, is notorious to all who know me here ; but a man must 
also know this court and country to judge what the current 
charges of my situation must inevitably be ; what the occa' 
sional ones have been can only be explained by myself ; and 
as I can clearly make it appear, that I have neitlier misap- 
plied the money, nor abused the trust of government in any 
instance, I cannot merit, and I am persuaded I shall not 
experience, any misunderstanding, or unkindness. 
" I have the honour to be, k^ci^c, 

" R.C' 
I might have spared myself the trouble of this humiliating 
appeal. It produced just what it should produce — notliing ; 
for it was addressed to the feelings of those who had no feel- 
ings ; and called for justice, where no justice was, no mer- 
cy, no compassion, honour or good faith. 

I wearied the door of Lord North till his very servants 
drove me from it. I witli stood the offer of a benevolent 
monarch, whose munificence would have rescued me ; and 
I embraced ruin in my own country to preserve my honour 
as a subject of it ; selling every acre of my hereditary estate, 
jointured on my wife by marriage settlement, Avho gener- 
ously concurred in the sacrifice, which my improvident re- 
liance upon the faith of government compelled me to make. 
But I ought to speak of these things with more modera- 
tion, so many years having passed, and so many of the par- 
ties having died, since they took place. In prudence and 
propriety these pages ought not to have seen the light, till 
the writer of them was no more ; neither would they, could 
I have persisted in my resolution for withholding them, till 
that event had consigned them into other hands ; but there 
is sometijing paramount to prudence and propriety, which 
wrests ti^eui from me— 

My fiovertijy but not my will^ consents. 
The copy-right of these Memoirs produced to me the 


sum of five hundred pounds, and if, through the candoi 
and protection of a generous public, they shaii turn out m 
bad bargain to the purchaser, 1 shall be most sincerely thank- 
ful, and my conscience will be at rest — but I look back, and 
find myself still at Madrid, though on the point of my depar- 
ture — On the 1 5th of March I write to the Earl of Hillsb 
rough as follows, viz. 

" My Lord, 

" On the 1 1th instant I had the honour of your lordship- 
letter, dated the i 4th of February, and in obedience to his 
majesty's commands, therein signified, I took occasion on the 
saiiie day of demanding my passports of the minister of Spv'hi. 
Agreeably to tne indulgence, granted me by His Majesty, I 
yesterday took leave of Count Florida Blanca at the Pardo, 
and this day my family presented themselves to the Princess 
of Asturias at the convent of Santo Domingo el Real, who 
received their parting acknowledgments v/ith many expres- 
sions of kindness and condescension. I am to see the King 
of Spain on Sunday, and expect to leave Madrid on Tuesday 
or Wednesday. 

" The ambassador of France having in the most obliging 
manner given me a passport, and your lordship's letter con- 
taining no directions to the contrary, I propose to return by 
Bayonne and Bordeaux, to which route I am compelled by 
the state of my health, and that of part of my family. 
I have the honour to be, is^c. 

'' R C." 

" I hope your lordship has received my letter No. 18, 
also tliose numbered 20 and 21, which conclude what I have 

To the sub-minister Cam.po, who had been confidential 
throughout, and present at almost every conference I had 
held with the Premier, I wrote as follows — 

« Madrid, March S^Oth, 1781. 
" You have done all things, my dear Sir, with the greatest 
kindness and the politest attention. I have your passports, 
and as my baggage is now ready to be inspected, I v. ait the 
directions of tiie Minister Musquiz, whicii I pray you now 
to dispatch. To-morrow in the forenoon at 1 1 o'clock, of 


any other hour more convenient to the officers of the cus- 
toms will suit me to attend upon them. 

*•' You tell me that no more could be done for mc, were 
I an ambassador ; I am persuaded of it, for being as I am, u 
dependant on your protection, and entrusted to you by my 
country, how can I doubt but that the Spanish point of honour 
will concede to me not less, (and I sliould not wonder if it 
granted more) than any ambassador can claim by privilege. 

" I have never ceased to feel a perfect confidence in my 
situation, nor ever wished for any other title to all the rights 
of hospitality and protection, than what I derive from the 
trust, which my court has consigned to me, and that which 
I repose in yours. 

" I bring this letter in my pocket to the Pardo, lest you 
should not be visible at the hour I shall arrive. I beg to re- 
commend to you the case of the English prisoners, who have 
undersigned the enclosed paper. 

'' I hope to set out on Friday ; be assured I shall carry 
with me a lasting remembrance of your obliging favours^ 
and I shall ardently seize every occasion in my future life 
of expressing a due sense of them. 

" If your leisure serves to favour us with another visit at 
Madrid, we shall be happy to see you, and I shall be glad to 
confer with you on the subject of the Spanish prisoners, and 
apprize you of the language I shall hold on that topic upon 
my return home. 

" On all occasions, and in every place I shall conscien- 
tiously adhere to truth. Let me say for the last time I shall 
speak of myself, that no man ever entered Spain with a more 
conciliating disposition, and I hope I leave behind me some 
proofs of patience. 

" Farewel ! ever faithfully yours, 

"R. C' 

On the 24th of March 1781, having taken a last painful 
leave of the worthy Abbe Curtis and the rest of my friends, 
at half past ten in the forenoon I set out upon my journey. 
My party consisted of my wife, my two eldest daughters and 
my infant daughter, born in Spain, at the breast of a Spanish 
nurse, a wild but affectionate creature, native of San Andero : 
the good Marchetti and the poor redeemed prisoner Antony 
Smith accompanied us, and we had three English servants, 
two of whicii, (Thomas Camis and Mary Samson) had 



been in my family from their earliest years, and have never 
since served any other master. Two Spanish coaches, 
drawn ])y six mules each, witii mules for our out-riders, i 
constituted our travelling equipage and I contracted for their 1 
attending upon us to Bayonne. — They are heavy clumsy 
carriages, but they carry a great deal of baggage, and if the 
traveller has patience to put up with their very early hours 
and slow pace, there is nothing else to complain of. 

Madrid, which may be considered as the capital of Spain, 
though it is not a city, disappoints you if you expect to find 
suburbs, or villas, or even gardens when you have passed 
the gates, being almost as closely environed with a desert as 
Palmyra is in its present state of ruin. The Spaniards them- 
selves have no great taste for cultivation, and the attachment 
to the chace, which seeiTisto±)e the reigning passion of the 
Spanish sovereigns, conspires with the indolence of the 
people in suffering every royal residence to be surrounded 
by a savage and unseemly wilderness. The lands, which 
should contribute to supply the markets, being thus deliver- 
ed over to waste and barrenness, are considered only as pre- 
serves for game of various sorts, which includes every thing 
the gun can slay, and these are as much res sacra as the al* 
tars, or the monks who serve them. This soliiudo ante os^ 
fAum did not contribute to support our spirits, neither die 
tl e incessant jingling of the mules' bells relieve the tscdiuin 
of the road to Guadarama, where we were agreeably sur- 
prised by the Counts Kaunitz and Pietra Santa, who passed 
that night in our company, and next morning with many 
friendly adieus departed for Madrid, never to meet again-^ 
Animas quels caiididiores 
j\usquani terra tulit — 

The next day we passed the mountains of Guadarama by 
a magnificent causeway, and entered Old Castile. Here 
the country began to change for the better ; the town of Vil- 
la Castin presents a very agreeable spectacle, being new and 
flourishing, with a handsome house belonging to the Mar- 
chioness of Torre-Manzanares, who is in part proprietor oi 
the town. This illustrious lady was just now under a tem- 
porary cloud for having been party in a frolic with the young 
and animated Duchess of Alva, who had ventured to exhibit 
her fcur person on the public parade in the character of pos- 
tillion to her own equipage, whilst Torre-Manzanares, moun- 
ted the box as coachman, and other gallant spirits took their 


stations behind as footmen, all habited in the splendid blue 
and silver liveries of the house of Alva. In some countries a 
whim like this would have passed off with eclat,in many with 
impunity, but in Spain, under the government of a moral 
and decorous monarch, it was regarded in so grave a light, 

? that, although the great lady postillion escaped with a repri- 
mand, the lady coachman was sent to her castle at a distance 
from the capital, and doomed to do penance in solitude and 

I obscurity. 

We were now in the country for the Spanish wool, and this 
place being a considerable mart for that valuable article, is 
furnished with a very large and commodious shearing-house. 
We slept at a poor little village called San Chidrian, and 
being obliged to change our quarters on account of other 
travellers, who had been before-hand with us, we were fain 
to put up with the wretched accommodations of a very wretch- 
ed posada. 

The third day's journey presented to us a fine champaign 
country, abounding in corn and well peopled. Leaving the 
town of Arebalo, which made a respectable appearance, on 
our right, we proceeded to Almedo, a very remarkable place, 
being surrounded with a Moorish wall and towers in very 
tolerable preservation ; Almedo also has a Une convent and 
a handsome church. 

The fourth day's journey, being March the 27th, still led 
us through a fair country, rich in corn and wine. The river 
Adaga runs through a grove of pines in a deep channel very 
romantic, wandering through a vast tract of vineyards vv ith- 
out fences. The weather was serene and fresh, and gave us 
spirits to enjoy the scenery, which was nev/ and striking. 
We dined at Valdestillas, a mean little town, and in the even- 
ing reached Valladolid, where bigotry may be said to have 
established its head quarters. The gate of the city, which 
is of modern construction, consists of three arches of equal 
span, and that very narrow ; the centre of these is elevated 
with a tribune, and upon that is placed a pedestrian stiUue 
of Carlos III. This gate delivers you into a spacious square 
svHU'ounded by convents and churches, and passing this, 
which offers nothing attractive to delay you, you enter the~ 
old gate of the city, newly painted in bad fresco, and orna- 
mented witii an equestrian statue of the reigning king av ith a 
Latin inscription, very just to his virtues, but very little to 
^be honour of the writer of it. \ ou now find yourself in onfj 



of the most gloomy, desolate and dirty towns, that can be 
conceived, the great square much re;sembUng that of the,, 
Plaza-mayor in Madrid, the houses painted in grotsequi 
fresco, despicably executed, and the whole in miserable coi^ 
dition. I was informed that the convents amount to betweei 
thirty and forty. There is both an English and a Scottii 
college ; the former under the government of Doctor She^ 
herd, a man of very agreeable, cheerful, natural manners 
I became acquainted with him at Madrid through the intro 
duction of my friend Doctor Geddes, late Principal of th^ 
latter college, but since Bishop of Mancecos, Missionary anf 
Vicar General at Aberdeen. I had an introductory letter t( 
the Intendant, but my stay was too short to avail myself q 
it ; and I visited no church but the great cathedral of thi 
Benedictines, where Mass was celebrating, and the altar 
and whole edifice were arrayed in all their splendour. Thi 
fathers were extremely polite, and allowed me to enter th* 
Sacristy, where I saw some valuable old paintings of the early 
Spanish masters, some of a later date, and a series of Bene- 
dictine Saints, who if they are not the most rigid, are indis^ 
putably the richest, order of religious in Spain. 

Our nextday's journey advanced us only 6 short leaguesj 
and set us down in the ruinous to\Vn of Duenas, which lik( 
Olmedo is surrounded by a Moorish fortification, the gat< 
of which is entire. The Calasseros, obstinate as theii 
mules, accord to you in nothing but in admitting indiscrim- 
inately a load of baggage, that would almost revolt a waggon? 
and this is indispensibie, as you must carry beds, provisions! 
cooking vessels, and every article for rest and sustenance 
not excepting bread, for in this country an inn means $ 
hovel, in which you m^iy light a fire, if you can defend youi 
right to it, and find a dunghill called a bed, if you can sub 
mit to lie down in it. 

Our sixth day's stage brought us to the banks of the Do 
uro, which we skirted and kept in sight during the wholaj 
day from Duenas through Torrequemarra to Villa Rodri^ 
go. The stone bridge at Torrequemarra is a noble edific 
of eight and twenty arches. The windings of this beautiful"" 
river and its rocky banks, of which one side is always very, 
steep, are romantic and present fine shapes of nature, to 
which nothing is wanting but trees, and they not always. 
The' vale, through which^it flows, enclosed within these 
rocky cliiTs; is luxurient in corn and wine ; the soil in gen- 


eral of a fine loam mixed with gravel, and the fallows re- 
markably clean ; they deposit their wine in caves lioUov/ed 
out of the rocks. In the mean time it is to tlic bounty of 
nature rather than to the care and industry of man, tliut the 
inhabitant, squalid and loathsome in his person, is beholden 
for that produce, which invites exertions that he never 
makes, and points to comforts that he never tastes. In the 
midst of all these scenes of plenty you encounter human 
misery in its worst attire, and ruined villages amongst lux- 
urient vineyards. Such a bountiful provider is God, and so 
improvident a steward is his vicegerent in this realm. 

It should seem, that in this valley, on the banks of the 
fertilizing Douro, would be the proper scite for the capital 
of Spain ; whereas Madrid is seated on a barren soil, beside 
a meagre stream, which scarce suffices to supply the w^ash- 
er-women, who make their troughs in the shallow current, 
which only has the appearance of a river, when the snow- 
melts upon the mountains, and turns the petty Manzanares, 
that just trickles through the sand, into a roaring and im- 
petuous torrent. Of the environs of Madrid I have already 
spoken, and the climate on the northern side of the Guadar- 
amas is of a much superior and a more salubrious quality, 
being not so subject to the dangerous extremes of heat and 
cold, and much oftener refreshed with showers, the great 
desideratum, for which the monks of Madrid so freqently 
importune their poor helpless saint Isidore, and make him 
feel their vengeance, whilst for months together the unre- 
lenting clouds will not credit him with a single drop of rain. 

Upon our road this day we purchased three lambs at the 
price of two pisettes (shillings) a piece, and little as it was, 
we hardly could be said to have had value for our money. 
Our wortliy Marchetti, being an excellent engineer, roast- 
ed them whole with surprising expedition and address in a 
kitchen and at a fire, which w^ouid have puzzled all the re- 
sources of a French cook, and which no English scullion 
would have approached in her very worst apparel. A crew 
of Catalunian carriers at Torrequemara di:?puted our exclu- 
sive title to the fire, and with their arroz a la ValeiiciaJia 
would soon have ruined our roast, if our gallant provecior 
had not put aside his capa, and displayed his two epaulets^ 
to which military insignia the sturdy interlopers instantly 
deferred. ♦ 

There is excellent morality to be learnt in a jouraey g£ 

Z 2 " 


this sort. A supper at Villa Rodrigo is a better corrective 
for fastidiousness and false delicacy than all that Seneca and 
Epictetus can administer, and if a traveller in Spain will 
cany justice and fortitude about him, the Calasscros will 
teach him patience, and the Posadas vrill enure him to tem- 
perance ; having these four cardinal virtues in possession, 
he has the whole ; all Tully's offices can't find a fifth. 

On the seventh day of our travel we kept thp pleasant 
Douro still in sight. Surely this river plays his natural 
sovereign a slippery trick ; rises in Galicia, is nourished 
and maintained in its course through Spaip, and as soon as 
he is become mature' in depth and size for trade and naviga- 
tion, deserts and throws himself into the service of Portu- 
gal. This is the case with the Tagus also : this river af- 
fords the Catholic King a little angling for small fry at Al^- 
anjuez, and at Lisbon becomes a magnificent harbour to 
give wealth and splendour to a kingdom. The Oporto 
mnes, that grow upon the banks of the Douro in its renega- 
do course, find a ready and most profitable vent in England, 
whilst the vineyards of Castile languish from want of a pur- 
chaser, and in some years are absolutely cast away, as not 
paying for the labour of making them into wine. 

The city and castle of Burgos are well situated on the 
banks of the river Relancon. Two fine stone bridges are 
throw^n over that stream, and several plantations of young 
trees line the roads as you approach it. The country is well 
watered, and the heights furnish excellent pasture for sheep, 
being of a light downy soil. The cathedral church of Bur- 
gos deserves the notice and admiration of every traveller, 
and it is with sincere regret I found myself at leisure to de- 
vote no more than one hour to an edifice, that requires a 
day to examine it within side and without. It is of that or- 
der of Gothic, which is most profusely ornamented and en- 
Tished ; the tow^ers are crowned with spires of pierced stone 
work, raised upon arches, and laced all through v/ith open 
work like filligree : the windows and doors arc embellished 
with innumerable figures, admirably carved in stone, and in 
perfect preservation ; the dome over the nave is superb, and 
behind the grand altar there is a spacious and befiiutiful chap- 
el, erected by a Duke of Frejas, who lies entomoed with his 
Duchess with a stately monument recumbent with their 
heads resting upon cushKJns, in their robes and coronets, 
svell sculptured in most exquisite marble of the purest v/hite. 


The bas-relieves at the back of the grand altar, represent- 
ing passages in the life and actions of our Saviour, are won- 
derful samples of sculpture, and the carrying of the cross 
in particular is expressed with all the delicacy of Raphael's 
famous Pasma de Sicilia. The stalls of the choir in brown 
oak are finely executed and exhibit an innumerable groupe 
of figures : whilst the seats are ludicrously inlaid with gro- 
tesque representations of fauns and satyrs unaccountably- 
contrasted with the sacred history of the carved work, that 
encloses them. The altars, chapels, sacristy and cloisters 
arc equally to be admired, nor are there wanting some fine 
paintings, though not profusely bestowed. The priests con- 
ducted me through every part of the cathedral with the kind- 
est attention and politeness, though Mass was then in high 

When* I was on my departure, and my carriages were in 
waiting, a parcel of British seamen, who had been prison- 
ers of w ar, most importunately besought me, that I would 
ask their liberation of the Bishop of Burgos, and allow them 
to make their vvay out of the country under my protection. 
This good Bishop, in his zeal for making converts, had ta- 
ken these fellows upon their w ord into his list of pensioners, 
as true proselytes, and allowed them to establish themselves 
in various occupations and callings, which they now pro- 
fessed themselves most heartily disposed to abandon, and 
doubted not but I should find him as willing to release them, 
as they were to be set free. Though I gave little credit ta 
their assertions, I did not refuse to make the experiment, 
and wrote to the bishop in their behalf, promising to obtain 
the release of the like number of Spanish prisoners, if he 
would allow me to take these men away with me. To my 
great surprise I instantly received his free consent and per- 
mit under his hand and seal to dispose of them as I saw fit. 
This I accordingly did, and by occasional reliefs upon the 
braces of my carriages marched my party of renegadoes 
entire into Bayonne, where I got leave upon certain condi- 
tions to embark them on board a neutral ship bound to Lis- 
bon, and consigned them to commodore Johnstone, .or the 
commanding oificer for the time being, to be put on board, 
and exchanged for the like number of Spanish prisoners^ 
which accordingly was done with the exception of one or 
two, who turned aside by the yr^\ I have reason to believe 
the good Bishop was thoroughly sick of his converts, and I 


encountered no opposition from the ladies, whom two of 
three of them had taken to wife. ^ 

We pursued our eighth day's journey over a deep ricli 
soil, with mountains in sight covered with snow, which had' 
fallen two days before. There was now a scene of more 
wood, and the face of the country much resembled parts of 
England. We advanced but seven leagues, the river Re-, 
lancon accompanying us for the last three, where our road 
was cut out of the side of a steep cliff, very narrow, and so 
ill defended, that in many places the precipice, considering 
the mode in which the Spanish Calasseros drive, was seri- 
ously alarming. The wild woman of San Andero, who 
nursed my infant, during this day's journey was at high 
words vrith the witches, who twice pulled off her redecilla, 
and otherwise annoyed her in a very provoking manner till 
we arrived at Breviesca, a tolerable good Spanish town, 
where they allowed her to repose, and we heard no more 
of them. 

From Breviesca we travelled through a fine picturesque 
country of a rich soil to Pancorvo at the foot of a steep range 
of rocky mountains, and passing through a most romantic 
fissure in the rock, a work of great art and labour, we reach- 
ed the river Ebro, which forms the boundary of Old Castile. 
Upon this river stands the town of Miranda, which is ap- 
proached over a new bridge of seven stone arches and we 
lodged ourselves for the night in the posada at the foot of it : 
a house of the worst reception we had met in Spain, which 
is giving it as ill a name as I can well bestow upon any 
house whatever. 

A siiort stage brought us from Breviesca to the town of 
Vittoria, the capital of Alaba, which is one portion of the 
delightful province of Biscay. We were now for the first 
time lodged with some degree of comfort. We shewed our 
passport at the custom-honse, and the administrator of the 
post-office having desired to have immediate notice of our 
arrival, I requested my friend Marchetti to go to him, and 
in the mean time poor Smith passed a very anxious interval 
of suspense, fearing that he might be stopped by order of 
government in this place, (a suspicion I confess not out of 
the range of probabilities) but it proved to be only a punc- 
tilio of the Sub-minister Campo, who had written to this 
gentleman to be particular jj^ his attentions to us, enclosing 
his cardj as if in person present to take leave j this mark of 


politeness on his part produced a present from the adminis- 
trator of some line asparagus, and excellent sweatmeats, the 
produce of the country, with the further . favour of a visit 
from the donor, a gentleman of great good manners and 
much respectability. 

The Marquis Legarda, Governor of Vittoria, to whom I 
had a letter from Count D'Yranda, the Marquis D'Al lama- 
da, and other gentlemen of the place, did us the honour to 
visit us, and were extremely polite. We were invited by 
tlie Dominicans to their convent, and saw some very exqui- 
site paintings of Ribeira and Murilla. At noon we took our 
departure for Mondragone, passing through a country of un- 
describable beauty. The scale is vast, tlie heights are lofty 
wtnout being tremendous, the cultivation is of various sorts, 
and to be traced in every spot, where the hand of industry 
can reach : a profusion of fruit trees in blossom coloured the 
iairdscape with such vivid and luxuriant tints, that ^Ve had 
new charms to admire upon every shift and winding of the 
road. The people are laborious, and the fields being full of 
men and women at their work (for here both sexes make 
common task) nothing could be more animated than the 
scenery ; 'twas not in nature to present a stronger 
contrast to the gloomy character and squalid indolence of the 
Castilians. And what is it, which constitutes this marked 
disthiction between such near neighbours, subjects of the 
same King, and separated from each other only by a narrow 
stream ? It is because the regal power, which in Castile is 
arbitrary, is limited by local laws in Cataluaia, and gives 
passage for one ray of liberty to visit that happier and more 
enlightened country. 

From Mondragone we went to Villa Franca, w^here we 
dined, and finished our twelfth day's journey at Tolosa ; the 
country still presented a succession of the most enchanting 
scenery, but I was now become insensible to its beauties, be- 
ing so extremely ill, that it was not without much difficulty, 
so excruciating mere my pains, that I reached Tolosa. 
Here I staid three days, and when I found my fever would 
not yield to James's powder, I resolved to attempt getting 
to Bayonne, where I might hope to find medical assistance, 
and better accommodation. 

On the seventeenth day, after suffering tortures from the 
roughness of the roads, I reached Bayonne, and immediate- 
ly put myself under tlie care of Doctor Vidal, a Huguenot 


physician. Here I passed three miserable weeks, and 
though in a state of ahnost continual delirium throughout 
the whole of this time, I can yet recollect that under Provi-^ 
dence it is only owing to the unwearied care and tender at« 
tentions of my ever-watchful wife (assisted by her faithful 
servant Mary Samson) that I was kept alive ; from hei^ 
hands I consented to receive sustenance and medicine, and 
to her alone in the disorder of my senses I was uniformly 

It was at this period of time that the aggravating news ar- 
rived of my bills being stopped, and my person subjected to I 
arrest. I was not sensible to the extent of my danger, for; 
death hung over me, and threatened to supersede ailarrests^ 
but of a lifeless corpse : the kind heart however of Mar- 
chetti had compassion for my disconsolate condition, and he 
found means to supply me with five hundred pounds, as I 
have already related. It pleased God to preserve my life,^ 
and this seasonable act of friendship preserved my liberty.^ 
The early fruits of the season, and the balmy temperature; 
of the air in that delicious climate, aided the exertions of ,my;^ 
physician, and I was at length enabled to resume my jour- 
ney, taking a day's rest in the magnificent town of Bour-. 
deaux, from whence through Tours, Blois and Orleans, ~^ 
proceeded to Paris, which however I entered in a state ast 
yet but doubtfully convalescent, emaciated to a skeleton,- 
the bones of my back and elbows still bare and staring'^ 
through my skin. 

I had both Florida Blanca's and Count Montmorin's pass- 
ports, but my applications for post horses were in vain, andl 
here I should in all probability have ended my career, as Ij 
felt myself relapsing apace, had I not at length obtained the- 
long-withheld permission to pass onwards. They had' 
pounded the King of Spain's horses also for the space of a- 
whole month, but these were liberated when I got my free- 
dom, and I embarked them at Ostend, from vv^hence I took* 
my passage to Margate, and arrived at my house in Port-; 
land-Place, destined to experience treatment, which I had- 
not merited, and encounter losses, I have never over- 

I will here simply relate an incident without attempting " 
to draw any conjectures from it, which is, that whilst I laid 
ill at Bay onne, insensible, and as it was supposed at the point 
of death, the very monk, who had been so troublesome to 


me at Elvas, found his way into my chamber, and upon the 
alarm given by my wife, who perfectly recognized his per- 
son, was only driven out by force. Again when I was in 
Paris, and about to sit down to dinner, a sallad was brought 
to me by the lacquey, who waited on me, which was given 
to him for me by a red-haired Dominican, whose person 
according to his description exactly tallied with that of the 
aforesaid monk ; I dispatched rfiy servant Camis in pursuit 
of him, but he had escaped, and my suspicion of the sallad 
being poisoned was confirmed by experiment on a dog. 

I shall only add that somewhere in Castile, I forget the 
place, but it was between Valladolid and Burgos, as I was 
sitting on a bench at the door of a house, where my calasse- 
ros were giving water to the mules, I tendered my snuff-box 
to a grave elderly man, who seemed of the better sort of 
Castilians, and who appeared to have thrown himself in my 
way, sitting down beside me as one who invited conversa- 
tion. The stranger looked steadily in my face, and after a 
pause put his fingers into my box, and, taking a very small 
portion of my snuff between them, said to me— -^^ I am not 
afraid. Sir, of trusting myself to you, whom I know to be 
an Englishman, and a person in whose honour I may per- 
fectly repose. But there is death concealed in many a 
man's snuff-box, and I would seriously advise you on no ac- 
count to take a single pinch from the box of any stranger, 
who may offer it to you ; and if you have done that already, 
I sincerely hope no such consequences as I allude to will re- 
sult from your want of caution." I continued in conversa- 
tion with this stranger for some time ; I told him I had never 
before been apprised of the practices he had spoken of, and, 
being perfectly without suspicion, I might, or might not, 
have exposed myself to the danger, he was now so kind as 
to apprise me of, but I observed to him that hovv ever pru- 
dent it might be to guard myself against such evil practices 
in other countries, I should not expect to meet them in Cas- 
tile, where the Spanish point of honour most decidedly pre- 
vailed. " Ah, Senor," he replied, " they may not all be 
Spaniards, whom you have chanced upon, or shall hereafter 
- chance upon, in Castile." When I asked him how this snuff 
operated on those who took it, his answer was, as I expected 
— " On the brain." I was not curious to enquire who this 
stranger was, as I paid little attention to his information at 
the time, though I confess it occurred to me, when after a 


few days I was seized with such agonies in my head, as d| 
prived me of my senses : I merely give this anecdote, as 
occurred ; I draw no inferences from it. 

I have now done with Spain, and if the detail, which 
have truly given of my proceedings, whilst I was there in 
trust, may serve to justify me in the opinion of those, who 
read these Memoirs, I will not tire their patience with a dull 
recital of my unprofitable efforts to obtain a just and equita- 
ble indemnification for my expenses according to agreement. 
The evidences indeed are in my hands, and the production 
of them would be highly discreditable to the memory of 
some, who are now no more ; but redress is out of my 
reach ; the time for that is long since gone by, and has car- 
ried me on so far towards the hour, which must extinguish 
all human feelings, that there can be little left for me to do 
but to employ the remaining pages of this history in the best 
manner I can devise, consistently with strict veracity, for the 
satisfaction of those, who may condescend to peruse thenii 
and to whom I should be above measure sorry to appear ii 
the character of a querulous, discontented and resentful ok 
man ; I rather hope that when I shall have laid before them 
a detail of literary labpurs, such as few have executed vvithit 
a period of the like extent, they will credit me for my in; 
dustry, at least, and allow me to possess some claim upoi 
the favour of posterity as a man, who in honest pride of con- 
science has not let his spirit sink under oppression and neg- 
lect, nor suffered his good wili to mankind, or his zeal fo: 
his country's service and the honour of his God, to experi 
ence intermission or abatement, nor made old age a plea foi 
indolence, or an apology for ill humour. 

Nevertheless, as I have charged my employers with a di 
rect breach of faith, it seems necessary for my more perfec 
vindication, to support that charge by an official document 
and this consideration will I trust be my sufficient apoiog] 
for inserting the followmg statement of my claim 

^* To the Right Honourable Lord JSi^orth^ life, is'c, i!fc. 

" The humble Memorial of Richard Cumberlant 
♦^ Sheweth, 

" That your Memorialist in April 1780, received Hii 
Majesty's most secret and confideiitiul orders and instruction! 
^ set out for the Court of Spain in company with the Abb< 


Hussey, one of His Catholic Majesty's chaplains, for the 
purpose of negociating a separate peace with that court. 

" That to render the object of this commission more se- 
cret, your Memoralist was directed to take his family with 
him to Lisbon, under the pretence of recovering the health 
of one of his daughters, which he accoixlingly did, and having 
sent the Abbe Hussey before him to the Court of Spain, 
agreeably to the King's instructions, your Memorialist and 
his family soon after repaired to Aranjuez, where His Cath- 
olic Majesty then kept his court. 

" That your Memoralist upon setting out on this import- 
ant undertaking received by the hands of John Robinson, 
Esquire, one of the secretaries of the Treasury, the sum of 
one thousand pounds on account, with directions how he 
should draw, through the channel of Portugal, upon his 
banker in England for such further sums as might be neces- 
sary, (particularly for a large discretionary sum to be employ- 
ed, as occasion might require in secret services) and your 
Memorialist was directed to accompany his drafts by a se- 
parate letter to Mr. Secretary Robinson, advising him what 
sum or sums he had given order for, that the same might 
be replaced to your Memorialist's credit with the bank of 
Messieurs Crofts and Co. in Pall Mall. 

" That your Memorialist in the execution of this commis- 
sion, for the space of nearly fourteen months, defrayed the 
expences of the Abbe Hussey's separate journey into Spain, 
paid all charges incurred by him during four months resi- 
dence there, and supplied him with money for his return to 
England, no part of which has been repaid to your Memo- 

" That your Memorialist with his family took two very 
long and expensive journies, (the one by way of Lisbon and 
the other through France) no consideration for v/hich has 
been granted to him. 

*' That your Memorialist, during his residence in Spain, 
was obliged to follow the removals of the court to Aranjuez, 
San Ildefonso, the Escurial and Madrid, besides frequent 
, visits to the Pardo ; in all which places, except the Pardo, he 
was obliged to lodge himself, the expence of which can only 
be known to those, who in the service of their court have in- 
curred it. 

" That every article of necessary expense, being inordi- 
nately high in Madrid, your Memorialist, without assuming 
2 A 


any vain appearance of a minister, and with as much domestic 
frugality as possible, incurred a very heavy charge. 

'' That your Memorialist having no courier with him, no^ 
any cypher, was obliged to employ his own servant in that 
trusty raid the servant of Abbe Hussey, at his own proper cost, 
no part of which has been repaid to him. ] 

" That your Memorialist did at considerable charge obtain 
papers and documents, containing information of a very imr 
portant nature, w^liich need not here be enumerated ; q\ 
which charge so incurred no part has been repaid. \ 

" That upon the capture of the East and West India ships 
by the enemy, your Memorialist was addressed by many oj 
the Britisii prisoners, some of wiiom he relieved with money, 
and in all cases obtained the prayer of their memorials. Your 
Memorialist also, through the favour of the Bishop of Bur- 
gos, took with him out of Spain some valuable British sea- 
man, and restored them to His Majesty's fleet ; and this also 
he did at his own cost. 

" That your Memorialist during his residence in Spain 
was indispensably obliged to cover these his unavoidable ex- 
pences by several drafts upon his banker to the amount oj 
4500/. of which not one single bill has been replaced, nor one 
farthing issued to his support during fourteen months expen-jj 
. sive^and laborious duty in the King's immediate and mos^ 
confidential service ; the consequence of which unparalleled 
treatment was, that your Memorialist was stopped and arrest- 
ed at Bayonne by order from his remittancers at Madrid ; 
in this agonizing situation your Memorialist, being then ici 
the height of a most violent fever, surrounded by a familjr 
of helpless women in an enemy's country, and abandon- 
ed by his employers, on whose faith he had relied, founcj 
iumself incapable of proceeding on his journey, and desti- 
tute of means of subsisting where he was ; under this ac- 
cumulated distress he must have sunk and expired, had not 
the generosity of an officer in the Spanish service, who had 
accompanied him into France, supplied his necessities with 
the loan cif five hundred pounds, and passed the King q1 
Great Britain's bankrupt servant into his own country, foi;; 
which humane action this friendly officer, (Marchetti bj^ 
name) was arrested at Paris, and by the Count D'Arand^ 
remanded back to Madrid, there to take his chance for what 
the influence of France may find occasion to devise agains^ 


<< Your Memorialist, since his return to England, having, 
after innunnerable attempts, gained one only admittance to 
your lordship's person for the space of more than ten months, 
and not one answer to the frequent and humble suits he has 
made to you by letter, presumes now for the last time to 
solicit your consideration of his case, and as he is persuaded 
it is not, and cannot be, hi your lordship's heart to devote 
and abandon to unmerited ruhi an old and faithful servant 
of the crown, who has been the father of four sons, (one of 
whom has lately died, and three are now carrying arms in 
the service of their King) your Memorialist humbly prays, 
that you will give order for him to be relieved in such man- 
ner as to your lordship's wisdom shall seem meet — 
" xVll wdiich is humbly submitted by 
" Your lordship's most obedient 
" And m.ost humble servant, 
" Richard Cumberland." 

This memorial, which is perhapa too long and loaded, I 
am persuaded Lord North never took the pains to read, for 
I am unwilling to suppose, that, if he had, he would have 
treated it with absolute neglect. He v/as upon the point of 
quitting office when I gave it in, and being my last effort I 
was desirous of summing up the circumstances of my case 
so, that if he had thought fit to grant me a compensation, 
this statement might have been a justification to his suc- 
cessor for the issue ; but it produced no compensation, though 
I should presume it proved enough to have touched the feel- 
ings of one of the best tempered men living, if he would 
have devoted a very few minutes to the perusal of it. 

It is not possible for me to call to mind a character in all 
essential points so amiable as that of this departed minister, 
and not wish to find some palliation for his oversights ; but 
if I were now to say that I acquit him of injustice to me, it 
would be affectation and hypocrisy ; at the same time I 
must think, that Mr. Secretary Robinson, who was the ve- 
hicle of the promise, was more immediately bound to solicit 
and obtain the fulfilment of it, and this I am persuaded was 
completely in his powder to do : to him therefore I addressed 
such remonstrances, and enforced them in such terms, as 
no manly spirit ought to have put up with -, but anger and 
high words make all things worse ; and language, which a 
man has not courage to resent, he never will have candour 
to forgive. 


When in process of time I saw and knev/ Lord Nort] 
his retirement from all public affairs, patient, collected, re 
signed to an affiicting visitation of the severest sort, when 
all but his illuminated mind was dark around him, I contem- 
plated an affecting and an edifying object, that claimed my 
admiration and esteem ; a man, who when divested of that 
incidental greatness, which high office for a time can give, 
seif-dignified and independent, rose to real greatness of his 
own creating, which no time can take away ; whose genius 
gave a grace to every thing he said, and whose benignity 
shed a lustre upon every thing he did ; so richly was hia 
memory stored, and so lively was his imagination in apply- 
ing what he remembered, that after the great source of in- 
formation was shut against himself, he still possessed a 
boundless fund of information for the instruction and delight 
of others. Some hours (and those not few) of his society he 
was kind in bestowing upon me : I eagerly courted, and very 
highly prized them. 

I experienced no abatement in the friendship of Lord 
•George Germain ; on the contrary it was from this time^ 
chiefly to the day of his death, that I lived in the greatest in* 
timacy with him. Whilst he held the seals I continued to« 
attend upon him both in public and in private, rendering him *l 
all the voluntary service in my pov/er, particularly on his Le- 
vee-days, which he held in my apartment in the Plantation of- 
fice, though he had ceased to preside at the board of Trade, ■ 
and here great numbers of American loyalists, who had taken 1 
refuge in England, were in the habit of resorting to him : it 
was an arduous and delicate busmess to conduct: I may add 
it was also a business of some personal risque and danger, 
as it engaged me in very serious explanations upon more oc- 
casions than one. Upon Lord George's putting into my 
hands a letter he had received from a certain naval officer, 
very disrespectful towards him, and most unjustifiably so to 
me, for having brought him an answer to an application, 
which ho was pleased to consider as private and confidential, 
I felt myself obliged to take the letter with me to that gen- 
tleman, and require him to write and sign an apology of my 
own dictating ; whatever was his motive for doing what I 
peremptorily required, so it was, that to my very great surr 
prise he submitted to transcribe and sign it, and when I ex- 
hibited it to Lord George, he acknowledged it to be the most 
complete revocation and apology he had ever met with. 


There vv^ere other situations still more delicate, in which I 
, occasionally became involved, but which I forbear to men- 
tion ; but in those unpleasant times men*s passions were 
enflamed, and in every ease, when reasoning would not s(M*ve 
to allay intemperance, and explanation was lost upon them, 
I never scrupled to abide the consequence. 

When Lord George Germain resigned the seals, the King' 
was graciously pleased in reward for his services, to call him 
to the House of Lords by the title of Viscount Sackville- 
The well known circumstance, that occured upon the event 
of his elevation to the peerage, made a deep and painful im- 
pression on his feeling mind, and if his seeming patience 
under the infliction of it should appear to merit in a moral 
sense the name of virtue, I must candidly acknovvledge it 
as a virtue, that he had no title to be credited for, inasmuch 
as it was entirely owing to the influence of some, who over- 
ruled his propensities, and made themselves responsible for 
his honour, that he did not betake himself to the same abrupt 
unwarrantable mode of dismissing this insult, as he had re- 
sorted to in a former instance. No man can speak from a 
more intimate knowledge of his feelings upon this occasion 
than I can, and if I was not on the side of those, wiio no doubt 
spoke well and wisely when they spoke for peace, it is one 
amongst the many errors and ofl*ences, which I have yet to 
repent of. 

There was once a certain Sir Edward Sackville, whom 
the world has heard of, who probably would not have posses- 
sed himself with so much calmnness and forbearance as did 
a late noble head of his family, whilst the question I allude 
to was in agitation, and he present in his place. It was by 
the medium of this noble personage that the Lord Viscount 
Sackville meditated to send that invitation he had prepared, 
w^hen the interposition and well-considered remonstrances 
of some of his nearest friends, (in particular of Lord Am- 
herst) put hini by from his resolve, and dictated a conduct 
more conformable to prudence, but much less suited to his 

The law, that is suflficient for the redress of injuries, does 
not always reach to the redress of insults ; thus it comes to 
pass, that many men, in other respects wise and just and 
temperate, not having resolution to be right in their own 
consciences, have set aside both reason and reIi?;ion, and, in 
compliance with the evil practice of the world about thern^ 

2 A3 




performed their bloody sacrifices, and immolated hum 
victims to the idol of false honour. Truth obliges me tfl^ 
confess that the friend, of whom I am speaking, though pos- 
sessing one of the best and kindest hearts, that ever beat-,, 
witliin a human breast, was with difficulty diverted from re J 
sorting a second time to that desperate remedy, Avhich mo-" 
dern empirics have prescribed for wounds of a peculiar sort, 
oftentimes imaginary and always to be cured by patience. 

When Lord North's administration was overturned, and 
the Board of Trade, of which I was Secretary, dismissed un- 
der tiie regulations of what is commonly called Mr. Bnrke'i 
Bill, I found myself set adrift upon a compensation, which 
though much nearer to an equivalent than what I had re^ 
ceived upon my Spanish claims, was yet in value scarce a 
moiety of what I was deprived of. By the operation of this 
reform, after I had sacrificed the patrimony I was bom to, 
a very considerable reduction was made even of the rem- 
nant, that was left to me : I lost no time in putting my fa- 
mily upon such an establishment, as prudence dictated, and 
fixed myself at Tunbridge Wells. 

This place of which I had made choice, and in which I 
have continued to reside for more than twenty years, had 
much to recommend it, and very little, that in any degree 
made against it. It is not altogether a public place, yet it 
is at no period of the year a solitude. A reading man may 
command his hours of study, and a social man will find 
full gratification for his philanthropy. Its vicinity to 
the capital brings quick intelligence of all that passes 
there ; the morning papers reach us before the hour of din- 
ner, and the evening ones before breakfast the next day ; 
whilst between the arrival of the general post and its depar- 
ture there is an interval of twelve hours ; an accommodation 
in point of correspondence that even London cannot boast of. 
The produce of the neighbouring farms and gardens, and the 
supplies of all sorts for the table are excellent in their qua- 
lity ; the country is on all sides beautiful, and the climate 
pre-eminently healthy, and in a most peculiar degree resto- 
rative to enfeebled constitutions. For myself I can say, that 
through the whole of my long ixsidence at Tunbridge Wells 
I never experienced a single hour's indisposition, that con- 
fined me to my bed, though I believe I may say with truth 
that till then I had encountered as many fevers, and had as 
miany serious struggles for my life, as have fallen to most 
meiVs lots in the like terms of years* 


ci: Some people can sit down in a place, and live so entirely 
to themselves and the small circle of their acquaintance, as 
to have little or no concern about the people, amongst wiiom 
they reside. The contrary to this has ever been my habity 
and wheresoever my lot in life has cast me, somethini^ more 
than curiosity has always induced me to mix with the mass, 
and interest myself in the concerns of my neighbours and 
fellow subjects, however humble in degree ; and from the 
contemplation of their characters, from my acquaintance 
with their hearts and my assured possession of their affec- 
tions, I can truly declare that I have derived, and still enjoy 
some of the most gratifying sensations, that reflection can 
bestow. The Men of Kent, properly so called, are a pecu- 
liar race, well worthy of the attention and study of the phi- 
lanthropist. There is not only a distinguishing cast of hu- 
mour, but a dignity of mind and principle about them, which 
is the very clue, that will lead you into their hearts, if right- 
ly understood ; but, if mistaken or misused, you will find 
them quick enough to conceive, and more than forward 
enough to express, their proud contempt and resolute defi- 
ance of you. I have said in my first volume of jlrundely 
page 220, that they are — " a race distinguishable above all 
their fellow subjects for the beauty of their persons, the dig- 
nity of their sentiments, the courage of their hearts, and the 
elegance of their manners — " Many years have passed 
since I gave this testimony, and the full experience I have 
now had of the men of Kent, ever my kind friends, and now 
become my comrades and fellow soldiers, confirms every 
word that I have said, or can say, expressive of their worthi- 
ness, or my esteem. 

The house, which I rented of Mr. John Fry, at that time 
master of the Sussex Tavern, was partly new and partly at- 
tached to an old foundation ; it was sufficient for my family, 
and when I had fitted it up with part of my furniture, and 
all my pictures from Portland-Place, it had more the air of 
comfort and less the appearance of a lodging house than 
most in the place : it was by no means the least of its re- 
commendations, that it was well appointed with offices and 
accommodations for those old and faithful domestics, who 
continued in my service. There was a square patch of 
ground in front, of about half an acre, fejiced and planted 
round with trees, Wiiich I converted into a flower garden 
and encircled with a sand walk : it had now become the only 



lot of English terra firma, over which I had a legal right J 
and I treated it with a lover-like attention ; it soon produceq 
me excellent wall-fruit of my own rearing, and at last 
found a little friendly spot, the only one as yet discovered^ 
in which my laurels flourished. My true and trusty servanq 
Thomas Camis, (more than ever attached, because more 
than ever necessary to me) had a passion for a flower gar-5 
den, and he quickly made it a bed of sweets, and a display" ' 
of beauty. It was now, unhappily for me, too evident, that 
the once-excellent constitution of my beloved wife, my best 
friend and under Providence the preserver of my life, was 
sinking under the efl'ects, which her late sufferings and ex- 
ertions in attending upon me, had entailed upon her : I had 
tried* the sea-coast, and other places before I settled here, 
but in this climate only could she breathe with freedom and 
experience repose : the boundary of our little garden was 
in general the boundary of her walk, and beyond it her 
strength but rarely suffered her to expatiate : so long as she 
could have recourse to her horse, she made a struggle for 
fresh air and exercise, but when she had the misfortune to 
lose her favorite Spaniard, so invaluable and so wonderfully 
attached to her, she despaired of replacing him, and I can well 
believe there was not in all England an animal that could. He 
had belonged to the King of Spain, and come, by what means I 
have forgot, into the possession of Count Joseph Kaunitz,who 
gave him to Mrs. Cumberltind : he was a most perfect war- 
horse, though upon the scale of a galloway, and whilst his eyes 
menaced every thing that was fiery and rebellious, nothing 
living was more sweet and gentle in his nature ; he could 
not speak, for he had not the organs of speech, but he had 
dog-like sagacity, and understood the words, that were ad- 
dressed to him, and the caresses, that were bestowed upon 
him. Being entire and of course prohibited from passing^ 
out of Spain, lam persuaded some villanous measures were 
practised on the Frontiers towards him in his journey, for 
he died in agonies under so inveterate a strangury, that tho' 
I supplied all the remedies, that an excellent surgeon could 
suggest for his relief, nothing could save him, and he expir- 
ed, whilst resting his head on my shoulder, his eyes being 
fixed upon me with that intelligent and piteous expression, 
which seemed to say — Can you do nothing to assuage my 
pain ? I thank God I never angrily and unjustifiably chastis- 
ed but one horse to my remembrance, and that creature, (a 


barb given to me by Lord Halifax) never whilst it had life 
forgave me, or would be reconciled to let me ride it in any 
peace, though it carried my wife with all imaginable gentle- 
ness. I disdain to make any apology for this prattle, nor 
am willing to suppose it can be uninteresting to a benevolent 
reader ; for those who are not such, I have no concern. The 
man, who is cruel to his beast is odious, and I am inclined to 
think there may be cruelty expressed even in the treatment 
ofthhigs inanimate; in short I believe that I am destined 
to die, as I have lived, with all that family weakness about 
me, which will hardly suffer me to chastise offence, or tell 
a fellow-creature he is a rascal, for fear the intimation should 
give him pain. I have been wrongfully and hardly dealt 
with ; I have had my feelings wounded without mercy ; I 
declare to God I never knowingly wronged a fellow crea- 
ture, or designedly offended ; if, wliilst I am giving my own 
history, I am to give my own character, this in few words is 
the truth ; I am too old, too conscientious, too well persua- 
ded and too fearful of a judgment to come, to dare to go to 
death with a lie in my mouth : let the censors of my ac- 
tions, and the scrutinizers of my thoughts, confute me, if 
they can. 

The children, who were inmate with me, when I settled 
atTunbridge Wells, were my second daughter Sophia, and 
the infant Marianne, born -to me in Spain ; my three surviving 
sons, Richard, Charles and William, were serving in the 1st 
regiment of guards, the 10th foot and the royal navy : my 
eldest daughter Elizabeth had married the Lord Edward Ben- 
tick, brother to the Duke of Portland, apd at that time mem- 
ber for the county of Nottingham ; of him were I to attempt 
at saying what my experience of his character, and my affec- 
tion for his person would suggest, I should only punish his 
sensibility, and fall far short of doing justice to my own : he 
is too well esteemed and beloved to need my praise, and how 
truly and entirely I love him is I trust too well known to re- 
quire professions. 

I was now within an hour's ride of Stonelands, where Lord 
Sackville resided for part of the year, and as this was amongst 
the motives, that led me to locate myself at Tunbridge 
Wells, so it was always one of my chief gratifications to avail 
myself of my vicinity to so true and dear a friend. 

Being now dismissed from office I was at leisure to devote 
myself to that passion, which from my earliest youth had 


never wholly left me, and I resorted to my books and mfW 
pen, as to friends, who had animated me in the morning oP|' 
my day, and were now to occupy and uphold me in the even- 
ing of it. I had happily a collection of books, excellent in 
their kind, and perfectly adapted to my various and discur- 
sive course of reading. In almost every margin I recogni- 
zed the hand-writing of my grandfather Bentiey, and where*' 
ever I traced his remains, they were sure guides to direct^ 
and gratify me in my fondness for philological researches. 
My mind had been harassed in a variety of ways, but thejj 
spirit, that from resources within itself can find a never-fail^ 
ing fund of occupation, will not easily be broken by events* 
that do not touch the conscience. That portion of mental 
energy, which nature had endowed me with, was not impair- 
ed ; on the contrary I took a larger and more various range 
of study than I had ever done before, and collaterally with' 
other compositions began to collect materials for those es-; 
says, which I afterwards completed and made public under 
the title of T/ie Obser-uer, I sought no other dissipation thart^ 
the indulgence of my literary faculties could afford me, and' 
in the mean time I kept silence from complaint, sensible' 
how ill such topics recommended a man to society in gene- 
ral, and how very nearly most men's show of pity is connect- 
ed with contempt. 

I had already published in two volumes my Anecdotes of 
eminent Painters in Spain. I am flattered to believe it was 
an interesting and curious work to readers of a certain sort, 
for there had been no such regular history of the Spanish^ 
school in our language, and when I added to it the authentic • 
catalogue of the paintings in the royal palace at Madrid, I 
gave the world what it had not seen before, as that catalogue 
w^as the first that had been made, and was by permission of 
the King of Spain undertaken at my request, and transmitted 
to me after my return to England. 

When these Anecdotes had been for some short time be- 
fore the public, I was surprised to find myself arraigned for 
having introduced a passage in my second volume, grossly 
injurious to the reputation of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and I am 
sorry to add that I had reason to believe, that the misconcep- 
tion of my motives for the insertion of that passage was 
adopted by Sir Joshua himself. The charge consists in my 
having quoted a passage from a publication of Azara's, which 
but for my noticing it, might have never met the observa- 


^tion of the English reader. I own I thought this charge too 
i ridiculous to merit any answer, for I had not gone out of my 
i way to seek Azara's publication ; it was in the shops at Lon- 
doil, and there I chanced upon it and purchased it. Azara 
was the friend of Mengs, and treats professedly of his cha- 
racter and compositions. A work of tiiis sort was in no de- 
gree likely to preserve its incognito, neither had it so done 
before it came into my hands. 

Tiie following extract from my 2d vol. p. 206, comprises 
every word, that has any reference to Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
and I am persuaded it cannot fail to acquit me in the judg- 
ment of every one, who reads it, most clearly and completely 
— tiiis it is — " Whether Mengs really thought with contempt 
of art, which was inferior to his own, I will not pretend to 
decide ; but that he was apt to speak contemptuously of 
artists sufierior to himself, I am inclined to believe. Azara 
tells us that he pronounced of the academical lectures of our 
Heyiiolds^ that they were calculated to mislead young stu- 
dents into error, teaching nothing but those superficial 
principles, which he plainly avers are all that the author 
himself knows of the art he professes — Del libro moderno 
del Sr Reynold^ Ligles^ decia que es una obra^ que fiuede 
condj^icir los Juvenes al error ; jiosque se queda en los firinci' 
fiios sujierjiciales^ que conoce solamente a quel cw/or— -Azara 
immediately proceeds to say that Mengs was of a tempera- 
ment colerico y adusto^ and that his bitter and satirical turn 
created him injinitos agraviados y quejosos._ When his his- 
torian and friend says this, there is no occasion for me to 
repeat the remark. If the genius of Mengs had been capa- 
ble of producing a composition equal to that of the tragic 
and pathetic Ugolino, I am persuaded such a sentence as 
the above would never have passed his lips ; but flattery 
made him vain, and sickness rendered him peevish ; he 
found himself at Madrid in a country without riv^ds, and, 
because the^ arts had travelled out of his sight, he was 
disposed to think they existed no where but on his own 

If this be n~^t sufficient for my justification I could wish 
any of my readers, who has my book within his reach, 
would refer himself to the page in question, and read on- 
wards till I dismiss the subject of Mengs with the follow- 
ing strictures on his talents, dictated no doubt in that spi- 
rit of resentment, wliich Azara's anecdote above recorded 



had most evidently inspired ; for what more highly tinctMP^ 
ed with asperity could be said of Mengs, than — " that 1^1 *^' 
was an artist, who had seen much, and invented little ; that | ^* 
he dispenses neither life nor death to his figures, excites 
no terror, rouses no passions and risques no flights ; that 
by studying to avoid particular defects, he incurs general 
ones, and paints with tameness and servility ; that the con- [ 
tracted scale and idea of a painter of miniatures, (as which i 
he was brought up) is to be traced in all or most of his compo- | 
sitions, in which a finished delicacy of pencil exhibits the hand 
of the artist, but gives no emanations of the sow/ of the mas- 
ter ? If it is beauty, it does not warm ; if it is sorrow, it ex- 
cites no pity : that when the angel announces the salutation t9 
Mary^ it is a messenger, that has neither used dispatch in 
his errand, nor grace in his delivery of it ; that although i?w- 
bens was by one of his oracular sayings condemned to the 
ignonimous dullness of a Dutch translator, Mengs was as 
capable of painting Ruben's Adoration^ as he was of creating 
the star in the east, that ushered the Magi. But these are 
questions above my capacity ; I resign Mengs to abler cri- 
tics and Reynolds to better defenders ; well contented that 
posterity should admire them both, and well assured that the 
fame of our countryman is established beyond the reach of 
envy or detraction." 

If I had been aiming to employ the authority of Mengs 
against the reputation of Reynolds, I think it would not have 
been my part to take such pains for lessening the impor- 
tance of it, and disappointing my own purpose. I cannotl 
doubt but I am fairly open to reproach for these invectives, 
against the fame of Mengs, but if there is any edge in th^i 
weapon I have wielded, I may say to his shade — > 

—Pallas te hoc vulnercy Pallas 


In the second volume, p. 8, where I am speaking of th< 
great luminary of the Spanish school Velazquez, I observ 
that, amongst other studies more immediately attached toj 
his art, he perfected himself in the propositions of Euclid- 
*' Elements, that prepare the mind in every art and ever 
science, to which the human faculties can be applied ; whic 
give a rule and measure for every thing in life, dignify things^ 
abstruse, invigorate the reason, restrain the licentiousness • 


of fancy, open all the avenues of truth, and give a charm 
even to controversy and dispute — ." I insert this extract 
because it is in proof to shew that my opinion with respect 
to the importance of an academical education was at this pe- 
riod of life altogether as strong in favour of the mathematical 
studies, as I have expressed it to be in the former part of 
these Memoirs. 

If it were not a ridiculous thing for an author to give his 
own works a good word, I should be tempted to risque it in 
the instance of these two volumes of anecdotes ; forasmuch 
as I bear them in grateful remembrance, as having cheered 
some of my heaviest hours, and as being the first productions 
sent by me into the world after my return out of Spain ; 
from which period to the present hour, when I review the 
mass of those many and various works, which my literary 
labours have struck out, I will venture to say, that if I have 
merited any chance of living in the remembrance of pos- 
terity, it is in these my latter years I am to look for it. 

Before I settled myself at Tunbridge Wells I had vrrit- 
ten my comedy of The Walloons^ brought out at Covent 
Garden theatre, where my friend Henderson exhibited a 
most inimitable specimen of his powers in the character of 
Father Sullivan. If some people were ingenious enough 
to discover any likeness of the Abbe Hussey in that sketch, 
they imputed to me a design, that was never in my thoughts. 
It was Henderson, with whom I was living in the greatest in- 
timacy, who put me upon the project (if writing a character 
for him in the cast of Congreve's Double Dealer. — " Make 
me a fine bold-faced villain," he sdd, " the direst and the 
deepest in nature I care not, so you do but give me m.otives, 
, strong enough to bear me out, and such a prominence of na- 
tural character, as shall secure me from the contempt of my 
audience ; whatever other passions I can inspire them with 
will never sink me in their esteem." Upon the same prin- 
ciple I conceived the character of Lord Davenant for him 
in The Mysterious Husband^ and in that he v/as not less con- 
spicuously excellent. 

He was an actor of uncommon powers, and a man of the 
brightest intellect, formed to be the delight of society, and 
few indeed are those men of distinguished talents, who have 
been more prematurely lost to the world, or more lastingly 
regretted. What he was on the stage, those who recollect 
his Falstaff, Shy lock, Sir Giles Overreach, and many other 
2 B 


parts of the strong casts, can fully testify ; what he was ; 
his own fire-side and in his social hours, all, who were witH| 
in tne circle of his intimates, will not easily forget. He ha 
an unceasing flow of spirits, and a boundless fund of ht 
mour, irristibly amusing : he also had wit, properly so dis- 
tinguished, and from the specimens, which I have seen of 
his sallies in verse, levelled at a certain editor of a public 
print, who had annoyed him with his paragraphs, I am satis^ 
fied he had talents at his command to have established a vc3 
,ry high reputation as a poet. I was with him one morning3 
when he was indisposed, and when his physician Sir Johil 
Eliot paid him a visit. The doctor, as is well knowii, was 2 
merry little being, who talked pretty much at random, anc 
oftentimes with no great reverence for the subjects, whicl: 
he talked upon ; upon the present occasion however he 
came professionally to inquire how his medicines had suc- 
ceeded, and in his northern accent demanded of his patient — ^ 
'' Had he taken the fialls that he sent him." — " He had."— 
'''Well! how did they agree? What had they done ?" — . 
" Wonders," replied Henderson ; '' I survived them" — m 
" Tx> be sure you did, said the doctor, and you must takQ 
more' of 'em, and live for ever : I make all my patients im- 
mortal." — .'' That is exactly what I am afi^aid of, doctor, re-s 
joined the patient. I m^et a lady of my acquaintance yes- 
terday ; you know her very well : she v/as in bitter afflic-^ 
tion, crying and bewailing herself in a most piteous fashion : 
I asked what had happened ; a melancholy event ; her dear- 
est friend was at death's door" — " What is her disease," 
cried the doctor ?— " That is the very question I ask- 
ed, replied Henderson ; but she v/as in no danger from her 
disease ; 'twas very slight ; a mere excuse for calling in a 
physician"—" Why what the devil are you talking about, 
rejoined the doctor, if she had called in a physician, and 
there was no danger in the disease, how could she be said 
to be at death's door ?" — Because, said Henderson, she had 
called in you : every body calls you in ; you dispatch a world 
of business, and if you come but once to each, your practice 
must have made you very rich" — Nay, nay, quoth Sir John, 
I am not rich in this world; I lay up my treasure in hea- 
ven" — " Then you may take leave of it for ever, rejoined the 
other, for you have laid it up where you will never find it." 
Henderson's memory was so prodigious, that I dare not 
risque the instance which I could^ give of it, not thinking 


^myself entitled to demand more credit than I sliould proba- 
bly be disposed to give. In his private chanutcr niuny 
good and amiable qualities might be traced, particularly in 
his conduct towards an aged mother, to wlioni he bore a 
truly filial attachment ; and in laying up a provision for his 
wife and daughter he was at least sufficiently careful and 
ceconomical. He was concerned with the elder Sheridan in 
a course of public readings : there could not be a higher 
treat than to hear his recitations from parts and passag-es in 
Tristram Shandy : let him broil his dish of sprats, seasoned 
with the sauce of his pleasantry, and succeeded by a dessert 
of Trim and my Uncle Toby, it was an entertainment wor- 
thy to be enrolled amongst the nodes ccvnascjue JDiviim. I 
once heard him read purt of a tragedy, and but once ; it was 
in his ow^i parlour, and he ranted most outrageously : he 
was conscious how ill he did it, and laid it aside before he 
had finished it. It was clear he had not studied that most ex- 
cellent property of pitching his voice to the size of the room 
he was in ; an art, which so few readers have, but which 
Lord Mansfield was allowed to possess in perfection. He 
was an admirable mimic, and in his sallies of this sort he 
invented speeches and dialogues, so perfectly appropriate 
to the characters he was displaying, that I don't doubt but 
many good sayings have been given to the persons he made 
free with, which being fastened on them by him in a frolic, 
have stuck to them ever since, and perhaps gone down to 
posterity amongst their memorabilia. If there was any bo- 
dy now qualified to draw a parallel between the chareicters 
of Foote and Henderson, I don't pretend to say how the men 
of wit and humour might divide the laurel between them, 
but in this all men would agree that poor Foote attached 
to himself very few true friends, and Henderson very many, 
and those highly respectable, men virtuous in their lives, 
and enlightened in their understandings. Foote, vain, ex- 
travagant, embarrassed, led a wild and thoughtless course 
of life, yet when death approached him, he shrunk back into 
himself, saw and confessed his errors, and I have reason to 
believe was truly penitent. Henderson's conduct through 
life was uniformly decorous, and in the concluding stage of 
it exemplarily devout. 

I have said he played the part of Lord Davenant in my 
drama of The Mysterious Husband : I believe it wa.s upon 
the last night of its representation, the King and Queen being 


present, Avhen Henderson's exertions in the concluding 
scene, where he dies upon the stage, occasioned certain ag. 
itations, which have thenceforward rendered spectacles of 
that sort very properly inelegible. The late Mrs. Pope was 
Tery successful and impressive in the character of Lady Dav* 
enant, which I am inclined to consider as the best female part 
I have ever tendered to the stage, but as the play is printed 
and before the public, the public judgment will decide upon 

Though I continued to amuse my fancy with dramatic 
composition, my chief attention w^as bestov/ed upon that 
body of original essays, which compose the volumes of 
The Observer, I first printed two octavos experim,entally 
at our press in Tunbridge Wells ; the execution was so in* 
correct, that I stopped the impression as soon as I had enga- 
ged my friend Mr. Charles Dilly to undertake the reprint- 
ing of it. He gave it a form and shape fit to meet the pub- 
lic eye, and the sale w^as encouraging. I addejl to the col- 
lection very largely, and it appeared in a new addition of 
live volumes : when these were out of print, I made a fresh 
arrangement of the essays, and incorporating my entire 
translation of The Clouds^ we edited the work thus modelled 
in, and these being now attached to the great 
edition of the British Essayists, I consider the Observer 
as fairly enrolled amongst the standard classics of our na- 
tive language. This work therefore has obtained for itself 
an inheritance ; it is fairly off my hands, and what I have 
to say about it will be confined to a few simple facts ; 1 had 
no acknowledgments to make in my concluding essay, 
for I had received no aid or assistance from any man liv- 
ing. Every page and paragraph, except what is avowed 
quotation, I am singly responsible for. My much esteemed 
IViend Richard Sharp, Esquire, now of Mark Lane, had the 
kindness, during my absence from to v/n to correct the sheets 
as they came from the press, had that judicious friend cor- 
rected them before they went to the press, they would have 
been profited by the reform of many more than typographi- 
t al errors ; but the approbation he was pleased to bestow 
upon that portion of the work which passed under his in- 
spection, was a very sensible support to me in the prosecu- 
tion of it ; for though I was aware what allowances I had to 
make for his candid disposition to commend, I had too much 


confidence in his sincerity to suppose bim capable of compli- 
menting me aijainsthis judgment or his conscience. 

I have been suspected of taking stories out of Spanish au- 
thors, and weaving them into some of these essays as my 
own, without acknowledging the plagiarism. One of my 
reviewers instances the story o^ Mcolas Pedrosa^ and round- 
ly asserts that from internal evidence it must be of Spanish 
construction, and from these assumed premises leaves me 
to abide the odium of the inference. To this I answer with 
the most solemn appeal to truth and honour, that I am in- 
debted to no author whatever, Spanish or other, for a single 
hint, idea or suggestion of an incident in the story of Ped- 
rosa,*orin that of the Misanthrope, nor in any other which 
the work contains. In the narrative of the Portuguese, who 
was brought before the Inquisition, what I say of it as being 
matter of tradition, which I collected on the spot, is a mere 
fiction to give an air of credibility and horror to the talc : 
the wiiole, without exception of a syllable, is absolute and 
entire invention. 

I take credit to myself for the character of Abraham Abra- 
hams ; I wrote It upon principle, thinking it high time that 
something should be done for a persecuted race. I second- 
ed my appeal to the charity of mankind by the character 
of Sheva, which I copied from this of Abrahams. The 
public prints gave the Jews credit for their sensibility in ac- 
knowledging my well-intended services ; my friends gave 
mi e joy of honorary presents, and some even accused me of 
ingratitude for not making public my thanks for their muni- 
ficence. I will speak plainly on this point ; I do most hear- 
tily wish they had flattered me with some token, however 
.small, of which I might have said this is a tribute to my phi- 
lanthropy^ and delivered it down to my children, as my be- 
loved father did to me his badge of favour from the citizens 
of Dublin : but not a word from the lips, not a line did I ever 
receive from the pen of any Jew, though I have found my- 
self in comi:jany with many of their nation : and in this per- 
haps the gentlemen are quite right, whilst I had formed 
expecUitions, that were quite wrong ; for if I have sdcl for 
them only what they deserve, why should I be thanked for 
it ? But if I have said more, much more, than they deserve, 
can they do a v/iser tiling than hold their tongues ? 

It is reported of me, and very generally believed, that I 
ec^mpose with great rapidity. I'must own the mass of mv 
2 B 2 


writings (of which the world has not seen more than half), 
might seem to warrant that report ; but it is only true in 
some particular instances, not in the general ; if it were, I 
should not be disinclined to avail myself of so good an apol- 
ogy for so many errors and inaccuracies, or of so good a 
proof of the fertility and vivacity of my fancy. The fact is, 
that every hour in the day is my hour^for study, and that a 
minute rarely passes, in which I am absolutely idle; in 
short, I never do nothing. Nature has given me the here- 
ditary blessing of a constitutional and habitual temperance, 
that revolts against excess of any sort, and never suffers 
appetite to load the frame ; I am accordingly as fit to resume 
ray book or my pen the instant after my meal as I wal^n the 
freshest hours of the morning. I never have been accus- 
tomed to retire to my study for silence and meditation ; in 
fact my book-room at Tunbridge Wells was occupied as a 
bed-room, and what books I had occasion to consult I brought 
down to the common sitting-room, where in company with 
my v\^ife and family (neither interrupting them, nor inter- 
rupted by them), I wrote The Observer, or whatever else I 
had in hand. 

I think it cannot be supposed but that the composition of 
those essays must have been a work of time and labour : I 
trust there is internal evidence of that, particularly in that 
portion of it, which professes to review the literary age of 
Greece, and gives a history of the Athenian stage. That 
scries of papers will I hope remain as a monument of my 
industry in collecting materials, and of my correctness in 
disposing them ; and when I lay to my heart the consolation 
I derive from the honours now bestowed upon me at the 
close of m^y career by one, v/ho is only in the first outset of 
his, what have I not to augur for myself, when he who starts 
v/ith such auspicious promise has been pleased to take my 
fame in hand, and link it to his own ? If any of my readers 
-are yet to seek for the author, to v/hom I allude, the Conii- 
GOT urn Grae coram fragment a cjuaedam will lead them to his 
name, and him to their respect. 

If I cannot resist the gratification of inserting the para^ 
graph, (page f ) v/hich places my dim lamp between those 
brilliant stars of classic lustre, Richard Bentley and Rich- 
ard Person, am I to be set down as a conceited vain old 
man ? Let it be so ! I can't help it, and in truth I don*t 
much care about it. Though the follov»^ing extract may be 


the weakest thing-, that Mr. Robert Walpole, of Trinity 
Collei^e, Cambridge, ever has written, or ever shall write, 
it will outlive the strongest thing that can be said against it, 
and I will therefore arrest and incorporate it as follows — 
Aliunde quoque hand exiguum ornamentura huic -volumini ac- 
cessit^ siquidem Cumberlandius nostras amice benevoleque fieV' 
missit<^ utversiones suas qitormidain fragmcntoruin^ enquisitas 
sane illas^ mirdjue clegentid conditas et commendatas hue tranS' 
f err em. 

If there is any man, who has reached my age, and written 
as much as I have with as little recompense for it, who can 
seriously condemn me, to his sentence I submit ; as for 
the snftrers and sub-critics, who can neither write them- 
selves, nor feel for those who do, they are welcome to make 
the most of it. 

My publisher informs me that inquiries are made of him^ 
if I have it in design to translate more comedies of Aristo- 
phanes, and that these inquiries are accompanied by wishes 
for my undertaking it. I am flattered by the honour, wiiich 
these gentlemen confer upon me, but the version of The 
Clouds cost me much tim^e and trouble ; I have no right to 
reckon upon much more time for any thing, and it is very 
greatly my wish to collect and revise the whole of my unpub- 
lished, and above all of my unacted dramas, which are very 
numerous ; I have also a work far advanced, though put 
aside during the writing of these Memoirs, which, if life is 
granted to me, I shall be anxious to complete. I must fur- 
ther observe that there is but one more comedy in our vol- 
ume of Aristophanes, viz. The Plutus^ which I could be 
tempted to translate. 

As I hope I have already given a sufficent answer to those, 
who v/ere ofTended with my treatment of Socrates, I have 
nothing more to say of the Observer, or its author. 

Henderson acted in one other play of my writing for his 
benefit, and took the part of The Arab^ which gave its title 
to the tragedy. I have now in my mind's eye the look he 
gave me, so comically conscious of taking what his judgment 
told him he ought to refuse, when I put into his hand my 
tributary guineas for the fev/ places I had taken in his thea- 
tre — " If I were not the most covetous dog in creation," he 
cried, " I should not take your money ; but I cannot help it." 
I gave my tragedy to his use for one night only, and have 
never put it to any use since. His death soon followed, and 


he was hurried to the grave in the vigour of his talents, and 
the meridian of his fame. 

The late Mrs. Pope, then Miss Young, performed apart 
in The Arab^ and I find an epilogue, which I presume she 
spoke, though of this I am not certain. I discovered it 
amongst my papers, and as I flatter myself there are some 
points in it not amiss, I take the liberty of inserting it. 

^' Epilogue to the Arab, 

" Miss Young. 

*' Yes, 'tis as I predicted— There you sit 
Expecting some smart relisher of wit. 

Why, 'tis a delicacy out of season 

Sirs, have some conscience ! ladies hear some reason ! 
With your accustom'd grace you come to share 
Your humble actor's annual bill of fare ; 
But for wit, take it how he will, I tell you. 
All have not Falstaff 's brains, that have his belly. 
Wit is not all men's money ; when you've bought it, 
Look at your lot. You're trick'd. Who could have tho't it I 
Read it, 'tis folly ; court it, a coquette ; 
Wed it, a libertine — you're fairly met. 
No sex, age, country, character, nor clime, 
No rank commands it ; it obeys no time ; 
Fear'd, lov'd and hated ; prais'd, ador'd and curs'd, 
The very best of all things and the worst ; 
From this extreme to that forever hurl'd. 
The idol and the outlaw of the Vv orld, 
In France, Spain, England, Italy and Greece, 
The joy, plague, pride and foot-ball of caprice. 
" Is it in that man's face, who looks so wise 
With lips half opened and with half-shut eyes ? 
Silent grimace ! — Flows it from this man's tongue, 
With quaint conceits and punning quibbles hung ? 
A nauseous counterfeit ! — Hark ? now I hear it — 
Rank infidelity ! — I cannot bear it. 
See where her tea-table Vanessa spreads ! 
A motley groupe of heterogeneous heads 
Gathers around : the goddess in a cloud 
Of incense sits amidst the adoring crowd. 
So many smiles, nods, simpers she dispenses 
Instead of five you'd think she'd fifteen senses : 


Alike impatient all at once to shine, 
Eager they plunge in wit's unfathom'd mine : 
Deep underneath the stubborn oar remains, 
The paltry tin breaks up, and mocks their pains, 

" Ask wit of me ! O monstrous, I declare 
You might as well ask it of my Lord Mayor : 
Require it in an epilogue 1 a road 
As track'd and trodden as a birth-day ode ; 
Oh, rather turn to those malicious elves, 
Who see it on no mortal but themselves ; 
Our gratitude is all we have to give. 
And that we trust your candour will receive." 

Garrick died also, and was followed to the Abbey by a 
long extended train of friends, illustrious for their rank and 
genius, who truly mourned a man, so perfect in his art, 
that nature hath not yet produced an actor worthy to be call- 
ed his second. I saw old Samuel Johnson standing beside 
his grave, at the foot of Shakspeare's monument, and bathed 
in tears : a few succeeding years laid him in the earth, and 
though the marble shall preserve for ages the exact resem- 
blance of his form and features, his own strong pen has 
pictured out a transcript of his mind, that shall outlive that 
imd the very language which he laboured to perpetuate. 
Johnson's best days were dark, and only, when his life was 
far in the decline, he enjoyed a gleam of fortune long with- 
held. Compare him with his countryman and contempora- 
ry last mentioned, and it will be one instance among many, 
that the man, who only brings the Muse's bantlings into the 
world has better lot in it, than he, who has the credit of be- 
getting them. 

Reynolds, the friend of both these worthies, had a meas- 
ure of prosperity amply dealt out to him ; he sunned him- 
self in an unclouded sky, and his muse, that gave him a pal- 
let dressed by all the Graces, brought him also a cornu-copise 
rich and full as Flora, Ceres, and Bacchus, could conspire 
to make it. His hearse was also followed by a noble caval- 
cade of mourners, many of w^iom, I dare believe, left bet- 
ter faces hanging by the wall, than those they carried with 
them to his funeral. When he was lost to the world, his 
death was the dispersion of a bright and luminous circle of 
ingenious friends, whom the elegance of his manners, the 
equability of his temper and the attraction of his talents had 


caused to assemble round him as the centre of their society 
In all the most engaging graces of his heart ; in dispositioS 
attitude, employment, character of his figures, and above 
all in giving mind and meaning to his portraits, if I were t<a 
say Sir Joshua never was excelled, I am inclined to believd 
so many better opinions would be with me, that I should no^ 
be found to have said too much. 

Romney in the mean time shy, priv^ate, studious and con- 
templative ; conscious of all the disadvantages and privations 
of a very stinted education ; of a habit naturally hypochon-^ 
driac, with aspen nerves, that every breath could ruffle, was 
at once in art the rival, and in nature the very contrast of Sir 
Joshua. A man of few wants, strict ceconomy and with not 
dislike to money, he had opportunities enough to enrich him' 
even to satiety, but he was at once so eager to begin, and so' 
slow in finishing his portraits, that he was for ever disap- 
pointed of receiving paym^ent for them by the casualties and* 
revolutions in the families they were designed for, so many 
of his sitters were killed off] so many favourite ladies were 
dismissed, so many fond wives divorced, before he would 
bestow half an hour's pains upon their petticoats, that his' 
unsaleable stock was immense, whilst with a little more re- 
gularity and decision, he would have more than doubled his^^ 
fortune, and escaped an infinitude of petty troubles that dis-^ 
turbed his temper. At length exhausted rather by the lan- 
guor than by the labour of his mind, this admirable artist 
retired to his native country in the north of England, and 
there, after hovering between life and death, neither wholly, 
deprived of the one nor completely rescued by the other, he'^ 
continued to decline, till at last he sunk into a distant andj 
inglorious grave, fortunate alone in this, that his fame is con- 
signed to the protection of Mr. Hay ley, from whom the 
world expects his history ; there if he says no more of him, 
than that he was at least as good a painter as Mr. Cowpcr 
was a poet, he will say enough ; and if his readers see the' 
parallel in the light that I do, they will not think that he shall 
have said too much. 

When I first knew Romney, he was poorly lodged in New- 
port-street, and painted at the small price of eight guineas^ 
for a three-quarters portrait ; I sate to him, and was the 
first who encouraged him to advance his terms, by paying 
him ten guineas for his performance. I brought Garrick to 
ser his pictures, hoping to interest him in his favour : a large 


family piece unluckily arrested his attention ; a c^entlcman 
in a close-buckled bob-wig and a scarlet waistcoat laced with 
gold, with his wife and children, (some sitting, some stand- 
ing), had taken possession of some yards of canvass very 
much, as it appeared, to their own satisfaction, for they were 
perfectly amused in a contented abstinence from all thought 
or action. Upon this unfortunate groupe when Garrick had 
fixed his lynx's eyes, he began to put himself into the atti- 
tude of the gentleman, and turning to Mr. Romney — " Upon 
my word. Sir, said ne, this is a very regular well-ordered 
family, and that is a very bright well-rubbed mahogany table, 
at which that motherly good lady is sitting, and this worthy 
gentleman in the scarlet waistcoat is doubtless a very excel- 
lent subject to the state I mean, (if all these are his children) 
but not for your art, Mr. Romney, if you mean to pursue it 
with tiliat success, which I hope will attend you—" The 
modest artist took the hint, as it was meant, in good part, and 
turned his flimily with their faces to the wall. When Rom- 
I ney produced my portrait, not yet finished — It was very 
j well, Garrick observed :— " That is very like my friend, and 
that blue coat with a red cape is very like the coat he has 
on, but you must give him something to do ; put a pen in his 
hand, a paper on his table, and make him a poet ; if you can 
once set him down well to his writing, who knows but in time 
he may write something in your praise." These w^ords were 
not absolutely unprophetical : I maintained a friendship for 
Romney to his death ; he was uniformly kind and affection- 
ate to me, and certainly I w^as zealous ia my services to him. 
After his death I wrote a sliort account of him, wdiich was 
published in a magazine ; I did my best, but must confess I 
should not have undertaken it but at the desire of my excel- 
led friend Mr. Green, of Bedford-Square, and being further 
urged to it by the wishes of two other valuable friends, Mr. 
Long, of Lincoln's Inn Fields, and Mr. Daniel Braythwaite, 
whom I sincerely esteem, it was not for me to hesitate, es- 
pecially as I was not then informed of Mr. Hay ley's purpose 
to take that work upon himself. 

Here I am tempted to insert a few lines, which about this 
time I put together, more perhaps for the purpose of speak- 
ing civilly of Mr. Romney than for any other use, that I 
could put them to ; but as I find there is honourable mention 
made of Sir Joshua Reynolds also, I give the whole copy as 
a further proof, that neither in verse or prose did I ever fail 


to speak of that celebrated paji^ler but with the respect 
justly due. 

" When Gothic rage had put the arts to flight 
And wrapt the world in universal night, 
When the dire northern swarm with seas of blood 
Had dro^^^led creation in a second flood, 
When all was void, disconsolate and dark, 
Rome in her ashes found one latent spark, 
She, not unmindful of her ancient name, 
Nurs'd her last hope and fed the secret flame ; 
Stili as it grew, new streams of orient light 
Beam'd on the w^orld and cheered the fainting sight i 
Rous'd from the tombs of the illustrious dead 
Immortal science rear'd her mournful head ; 
And mourn she shall to time's extremest hour 
The dire eff*ects of Omar's savage power, 
When ligid Amrou's too obedient hand 
Made Alexandria blaze at his command ; 
Six months he fed the sacrilegious flame 
With the stor'd volumes of recorded fame : 
There died all memory of the great and good 
Then Greece and Rome were finally subdu'd. 

" Yet monkish ignorance had not quite effac'd 
All that the chissel wrought, the pencil trac'd ; 
Some precious reliques of the ancient hoard 
Or happy chance, or curious search restor'd ; 
The wandering artist kindled as he gaz'd. 
And caught perfection from the work he prais'd. 

" Of painters then the celebrated race 
Rose into fame with each attendant grace ; 
Still, as it spread, the wonder-dealing art 
Improv'd the manners and reform'd the heart ; 
Darkness dispers'd, and Italy became 
Once more the seat of elegance and fame. 

" Late, very late, on this sequester'd isle 
The heaven-descended art w^as seen to smile ; 
Seldom she came to this storm-beaten coast. 
And short her stay, just seen, adrnir'd and lost ; 
Reynolds at length, her favourite suiter, bore 
The blushing stranger to his native shore ; 
He by no mean, no selfish motive sway'd 
To public view held forth the 'liberal maid, 


Call'd his admirini^ countrymen around, 

Freely declar'd what raptures he had found ; 

Told them that merit would alike impart 

To him or them a passage to her heart. 

Rous*d at the call, all came to view her charms, 

All press'd, all strove to clasp her in their arms ; 

See Coajs and Vance and Gainsborough seize the spoil, 

And ready Mortimer that laughs at toil ; 

Crown'd with fresh roses graceful Humphrey stands, 

While beauty grows immortal from his hands ; 

Stubhs like a lion springs upon his prey. 

With bold eccentric Wright that hates the day : 

Familiar Zoffany with comic art, 

And West^ great painter of the human heart. 

These and yet more unnam'd that to our eyes 

Bid lawns and groves and tow'ring mountains rise, 

Point the bold rock or stretch the bursting sail, 

Smooth the calm sea, or drive the impetuous gale : 

Some hunt 'midst fruit and flowery wreaths for fame, 

And Elmer springs it in the feather'd game. 

'' Apart and bending o'er the azure tide. 
With heavenly Contemplation by his side, 
A peevish artist stands — in thoughtful mood. 
With downcast looks he eyes the ebbing flood ; 
No wild ambition swells his temperate heart, 
Himself as pure, as patient as his art, 
Nor sullen sorrow, nor intemperate joy 
The even tenour of his thoughts destroy, 
An undistinguish'd candidate for fame. 
At once his country's glory and its shame : 
Rouse then at length, with honest pride inspired, 
Romney^ advance I be known and be admir'd." 

I perceive I must resume the immediate subject of these 
Memoirs ; it is truly a relief to me, when I am, called off* 
from it, for unvaried egotism would be a toil too* heavy for 
my mind. When I attempt to look into the mass of my 
productions, I can keep no order in the enumeration of them ; 
■ I have not patience to arrange them according to their dates ; 
I believe I have written at leastfifty dramas published and 
unpublished. Amongst tlie latter of these there are some, 
which in my sincere opinion are better tlian most, which 
have vet seen the light : they certainly have had the advan- 
2 c 


tages of a more mature correction. When I went to Spain 
1 iett ill Mr. Harris's ■ ancls a tragedy on the subject of 2'he 
ILlaer Brutus ; the temper of the times was by no mean^ 
suited to the char^iCtCi of the play ; I hiive never written' 
atjy drama so much to my own satisfaction, and my partitility 
to it iias been flatte ed by tiiC judgment of several who hav^ 
read it. I have w ritten drj.mas on the stories of the False 
Demetrius^ of Tibereus in CajirciZ^ and a tragedy on a plot 
purely inventive, which I intitled Torrendal ; these with se- 
veral others may in time to come, if life shah be coj.tiiiuecl 
to me, be formed into a collection and submitted to the 

About the time, at v^diich my story points, my tragedy of 
The Carmcliie was acted at Drury-Lane, and most ably sup- 
ported by Mrs. Siddons, wiio took the part of the Lady ol 
Saint Valori, and also spoke the Epilogue. She played 
inimitably, and in those days, when only men and womea 
trode the stage, the public were contented with what was per- 
fect in nature, and of course admired and applauded Mrs. 
Siddons : they could then also see merit in Mr. Kemble^ 
who was in the commencement of his career, and appearr 
ed in the character of the youthful Montgomeri : the audi- 
ences of that time did not think the w^orse of him because' 
he had reached the age of manhood, and appeared be- 
fore them in the full stature and complete maturity of 
one of the finest forms, that probably was ever exhibit- 
ed upon a public stage. A revolution since then has 
taken place, a caprice as ridiculous as it is extraordinary, 
and a general act of superannuation has gone forth agains^ 
every male performer, that has a beard. How lam to style 
this young child of fortune, this adopted favourite of thQ 
public, I don't rightly know ; the bills of Covent-Garder^ 
announce him as Master Betty, those of Drury-Lane as the 
Young Roscius. Roscius, as I believe upon the authority o| 
Shakspeare, was an actor in Rovie^ and Cicero, who admir- 
ed him, made a speech in his praise : all this of course is 
very right on both sides, and exactly as it should be. Mr. 
Harris announces him to the old women in the galleries in 
a phrase, that is familiar to them, whilst Mr. Sheridan^ 
presenting him to the senators in tiie boxes by the style and 
title of Roscius, fails perhaps in his little representative of 
the great Roman actor, but perfectly succeeds in his own 
similitude to the eloquent Roman orator. In the metm time 


my friend Smith of Bury, with all that zeal for merit, 
which is natural to him, marries him to Melpomene with 
the rin^ of Garrick, and strevvini^ roses of Parnussus 
on the nuptial couch, crowns happy Master Betty, alias 
Young Rosciusj with a never-fading chaplet of immortal 

jlnd now when death dissolves his inortal frame ^ 
His soul shall mount to heaven from whence it came ; 
ILarth keefi his ashes j verse /ireserve his fa?Jie. 

How delicious to be praised and paneeerised in such a 
style ; to be caressed by dukes, and (which is better) by 
the daughters of dukes, flattered by wits, feasted by Alder- 
men, stuck up in the windows of printshops, and set astride 
(as these eyes have seen him)upon the cut-water of a priva- 
teer, like the tutelary genius of the British flag. 

What encouragements doth this great enlightened nation 
hold forth to merit ? What a consolatory reflection must it 
be to the superannuated yello\^ admirals of the stage, that 
when they shall arrive at a second childhood^ they may still 
have a chance to arrive at honoui^s second only to these ! I 
declare I saw with surprise a man, who led about a bear to 
dance for the edification of the public, lose all his popularity 
in the street, where this exquisite gentleman has his lodg- 
ing ; the people ran to see him at the window, and left the 
bear and the bear-leader in a solitude. I saw this exquisite 
young gentleman, whilst I paced the streets on foot, Vafted 
to his morning's rehearsal in a vehicle, that to my vulgar 
optics seemed to wear upon its polished doors the ensign of 
a ducal crown ; I looked to see if haply John Kemble were 
on the braces, or Cooke perchance behind the coach ; I 
saw the lacquies at their posts, but Glenalvon was not 
there : I found John Kemble sick at home — ^I said within 

Oh ! what a time have you chose oiit^ brave Caius^ 
7'o wear a kerchief? Would you were not sick ! 

We shall have a second influx of the pigmies ; they will 
pour upon us in multitudes innumerable as a shoal of sprats, 
and when at last we have nothing else but such small fry to 
feed on, an epidemic nausea will take place. 


There are intervals in fevers ; there are lucid moments in 
madness ; even folly cannot keep possession of the mind for 
ever. It is very natural to encourage rising genius, it i^ 
highly commendable to foster its first shoots ; we admire^ 
and caress a clever school-boy, but we should do very ill tor 
turn his master out of his ofiice and put him into it. If th^ 
theatres persist in their puerilities, they will find them- 
selves very shortly in the predicament' of an ingenious 
mechanic, whom I remember in my younger days, and 
whose story I will briefly relate, in hopes it may be a warn^ 
ingtothcm. ; 

This very ingenious artist, when Mr. Rich the Harlequii\ 
v/as the great dramatic author of his time, and wrote sue-* 
cessfully for the stage, contrived and executed a most deli- 
cious serpent for one of those inimitable productions, in 
which Mr. Rich, justly disdaining the weak aid of languagej 
liad selected the classical fable (if I rightly recollect it) oi 
Orpheus and Euridyce, and having conceived a very capita 
part for the serpent, was justly anxious to provide himseli 
with a performer, who could support a character of that con** 
sequence with credit to himself and to his author. Th^ 
event answered his most ardent hopes ; nothing could bq 
more perfect in his entrances and exits, nothing ever crawl-? 
ed across the stage with more accomplished sinuosity than 
this enchanting serpent ; every soul was charmed with its 
performance ; it twirled and twisted and wriggled itself about 
in so divine a manner, the whole world was ravished with 
the lovely snake ; nobles and non-nobles, rich and poor, old 
and young, reps and demi-reps flocked to see it, and admire 
it. The artist, who had been the master of the movement, 
was intoxicated with his success ; he turned his hands and 
head to nothing else but serpents ; he made them of all si- 
zes, they crawled about his shop as if he had been chief 
5>nake-catcher to the furies : the public curiosity was satis- 
fied Avith one serpent, and he had nests of them yet unsold ; 
his stock laid dead upon his hands, his trade was lost, and the 
man ws ruined, bankrupt and undone. 

Here it occurs to me that in one of my preceding pages I 
have promised to address a parting word to my brethren and 
contemporaries in the dramatic line. If what I have now 
been saymg coincides with their opinions, I have said enough; 
if it does not, what I might add to it would be all too much, 
iiod the experience of gr^y hairs would be in vain opposed 


to the prejudices of green heads .May success attend them 
in their efforts, whenever they shall seriously address them 
to the study of the legitimate drama, and the restoration of 
good taste ! There is no lack of genius in the nation ; I there- 
fore will not totally despair, old as I am, of living still to wit- 
ness the commencement of a brighter aera. 

About this time I undertook the hardy task of differing in 
opinion from one of the ablest scholars and finest writers in 
the kingdom, and controverted the proposal of the Bishop 
of Llandaff for equalizing the revenues of the hierarchy and 
dignitaries of the church established. I still think I had the 
best of the argument, and that his lordship did a wiser thing 
in declining the controversy, than in throwing out the pro- 
posal. I have read a charge of the bishop's to the clergy of 
his diocese for enforcing many points of discipline, 8c enjoin- 
ing residence. As his lordship neither resides in his diocese, 
nor excutes the important duty of Regius Professor of Di- 
vinity in person, I am not informed whether his clergy took 
their rule of conduct from his precept, or from his exam- 
ple ; but I take for gr?inted that those, whose poverty con- 
fined them to their parsonages, did not stray from home, 
and that those, whose means enabled them to visit other pla- 
ces, did not want a precedent to refer to for their apology. 

As I have dealt extremely little in anonymous publica- 
tions, I may as well confess myself in this place the author 
of a pamphlet entitled Curtius rescued from the Gulph, I 
conceived that Doctor Parr had hit an unoffending gentleman 
too hard, by launching a huge fragment of Greek at his de- 
fenceless head. The subject was started, and the extermi- 
nating weapon produced at on^ of my friend Dilly's literary 
dinners ; there were several gentlemen present better 
armed for the encounter than myself, but the lot fell upon 
me to turn out against Ajax. I made us good a fight as I 
could, and rummaged my indexes for quotations, which I 
crammed into my artillery as thick as grape shot, and in 
mere sport fired them off against a rock invulnerable as the 
armour of Achilles. It was very well observed by my friend 
Mr. Diily upon the profusion of quotations, v/hich some 
WTiters affectedly made use of, that he knew^ a presbytei ian 
parson, who for eighteen-pence w^ould furnish any pam- 
phleteer with as many scraps of Greek and Latin, as would 
pass him off for an accomplished classic. I simply discharge 
a debt of gratitude, justly due, when I acknovviedge thg^ 
2 c 2 


great and frequent gratifications I have received at the hos4 
pitable board of the worthy friend last-mentioned, ^Yho whilstj 
he conducted upon principles of the strictest integrity the 
extensive business carried on at his house in the Poultry^ 
kept a table ever open to the patrons and pursuers of lite-^ 
rature, which was so administered as to draw the best circles 
together, and to put them most completely at their ease.^ 
No man ever understood this better, and few ever practised 
it with such success, or on so large a scale : it was done with- 
out parade, and in that consisted the peculiar air of comfort 
and repose, which characterized those meetings ; hence it 
came to pass that men of genius and learning resorted to 
them with delight, and here it was that they were to be 
found divested of reserve, and in their happiest moments. 
Under this roof the biographer of Johnson, and the pleasant 
tourist to Corsica and the Hebrides, passed many jovial 
joyous ho'jrs ; here he has located some of the liveliest scenes 
and most brilliant passages in his entertaining anecdotes of 
his friend Samuel Johnson, who yet lives and speaks in him. 
The book of Boswell, is, ever as the year comes round, my 
"winter-eveiiing's entertainment : I loved the man ; he had 
great convivial powers, and an inexhaustible fund of good 
humour in society : no body could detail the spirit of a con- 
versation in the true style and character of the parties more 
happily than my friend James Boswell, especially when his 
vivacity was excited, and his heart exhilerated by the circu- 
lation of the glass, and the grateful odour of a well-broiled 

To these parties I can trace my first impressions of es- 
teem for certain characters, whose meiits are above my 
praise, and of whose friendship I have still to boast. From 
Mr Billy's hospitality I derive not only the recollection of 
pleasure past, but the enjoyment of happiness yet in my 
possession. Death has not struck so deep into that circle^ 
but that some are left, whose names are dear to society, 
-whom 1 have still to number amongst my living friends, to 
whom I can resort and find myself not lost to their remem- 
brance. Our hospitable host, retired from business, still 
greets me with a friendly welcome : in the company of the 
worthy BraythweJte I can enjoy the contemplation of a 
man universally beloved, full indeed of years, but warm 
in feeling, unimpaired in faculties and glowing with bene- 


I can visit the justly admired author of The Pleasures of 
Memory^ and find myself with a friend, who together v/ith 
the brightest genius possesses elegance of manners and ex- 
cellence of heart. He tells me he remembers the day of 
our first meeting at Mr. Billy's ; I also remember it, and 
though his modest unassuming nature held back and shrunk 
from all appearances of ostentation and display of talents, yet 
even then I take credit for discovering a promise of good 
things to come, and suspected him of holding secret com- 
merce with the Muse, before the proof appeared in shape of 
one of the most beautiful and harmonious poems in our lan- 
guage. I do not say that he has not ornamented the age he 
lives in, though he were to stop where he is, but I hope he 
will not so totally deliver himself over to the Arts as to neg- 
lect the Muses ; and I now publicly call upon Samuel Ro- 
gers to answer to his name, and stand forth in the title 
page of some future work that shall be in substance 
greater, in dignity of subject more sublime, and in purity 
of versification not less charming than his poem above- 

My good and worthy friend Mr. Sharpe has made himself 
in some degree responsible to the public, for having beea 
the first to suggest to me the idea of writing this huge vol- 
ume of my Memoirs ; he knows I was not easily encourag- 
ed to believe my history could be made interesting to the 
readers of it, and in truth opinion less authoritative than his 
would not have prevailed with me to commit myself to the 
undertaking. Neither he nor I however at that time had 
any thought of publishing before my death ; in proof of 
v/hich I have luckily laid my hand upon the following lines 
amongst the chaos of my manuscripts, which v;ill shew that 
I made suit to him to protect this and other reliques of my 
pen, when I had paid the debt of nature 

" To Richard Shai'pe, Esquire, of Mark-Lane.'* 

" If rhyme e'er spoke the language of the hearty 
Or truth employ 'd the measured phrase of art. 
Believe me, Sharpe, this verse, which smoothly flows. 
Hath all the rough sincerity of prose. * 
False flattering words from eager lips may fly, 
But who can pause to harmonize a lie ? 
Or e'er he made the jingling couplet chime^ 


Conscience would start and reprobate the rhyme. 

If then 'twere merely to entrap your ear 

I call'd you friend, and pledg'd myself sincere, 

Genius would shudder at the base design, 

And my hand tremble as I shap'd the line. 

Poets oft times are tickled with a word, 

That gaily glitters at the festive board. 

And many a man, my judgment can't approve, 

Hath trick'd my foolish fancy of its love ; 

For every foible natural to my race 

Finds for a time with me some fleeting place ; 

But occupants so weak have no controul, 

No fix'd and legal tenure in my soul. 

Nor will my reason quit the faithful clue, 

That points to truth, to virtue and to you. 

" In the vicissitudes of life we find 
Strange turns and twinings in the human mind, 
And he, who seeks consistency of plan. 
Is little vers'd in the great map of man ; 
The wider still the sphere in which we live, 
The more our calls to suffer and forgive : 
But from the hour (and many years are past) 
From the first hour I knew you to the last. 
Through ev'ry scene, self-center'd and at rest, 
Your steady character hath stood the test, 
No rash conceits divert your solid thought. 
By patience foster'd and with candour fraught ; 
Mild in opinion, but of soul sincere. 
And only to the foes of truth severe, 
So unobtrusive is your wisdom's tone. 
Your converts hear and fancy it their own. 
With hand so fine you probe the festering mind. 
You heal our wounds, and leave no sore behind. 

" Now say, my friend — but e'er you touch the task 
Weigh well the burden of the boon I ask — 
Say, when the pulses of this heart shall cease. 
And my soul quits her cares to seek her peace. 
Will your zeal prompt you to protect the name 
Of one not totally miknown to fame ? 
Will youj wr:o only can the place supply 
Of a lost son, befriend my progeny ? 
For wi; en the wreck goes down there will be found 
Some i einnauts of tiie freight to float around, 


Some that long time hath almost snatch'd from sight, 
And more unseen, that struggle for the light j 
And sure I am the stage will not refuse, 
To lift her curtain for my widow'd Muse, 
Nor will her hearers less indulgent be, 
When that last curtain shall be dropt on me." 

I have fairly given the reasons, that prevailed with me for 
publishing these Memoirs in my life time, and I believe 
€very man, that knows them, will acknowledge they are 
reasons sufficiently cogent. My friend Sharpe very kindly 
acceded to the suit above-made ; Mr. Rogers has since join- 
ed him in the task, and Sir James Bland Burges, of whose 
friendship I have had many and most convincing proofs, has 
with the candour that is natural to an enlightened mind, gen- 
erously engaged to take his share in selecting and arranging 
ing the miscellaneous farrago, that will be found in my 
drawers, after my body has been committed to the earth. 
To these three friends I devote this task, and upon their 
judgment I rely for the publication or suppression of what 
they may find amongst my literary relics ; they are all much 
younger men than I am, and I pray God, that death, who 
cannot long spare me, will not draw those arrows from his 
quiver, which fate has destined to extinguish them, till they 
have completed a career equal at least in length to mine, 
crowned with more fame, and graced with much more for- 
tune and prosperity. I know that they will do what they 
have said, and faithfully protect my posthumous reputation, 
as I have been a faithful friend to them and to their living 

The heroic poem of Richard the First is truly a very ex- 
traordinary work. I am a witness to the extreme rapidity, 
with which my friend the author wrote it. It far exceeded 
the supposed rate, at which Pope translated Homer, which 
being at fifty lines per day, Samuel Johnson hesitates to givQ 
credit to. If to this we take into account the peculiar con- 
struction of the stanza, every one of which involves four, 
three and two terminations in rhyme, and which must natu- 
rally have enhanced the labour of the poet in a very conside- 
ble degree, I am astonished at the facility, with which Sir 
James has triumphed over the difficulties, that he chose to 
impose upon himself, and must confess his Muse moves 
gracefully in her fetters. I was greatly pleased to see that 


the learned and judicious Mr. Todd in his late edition oj 
Spenser has spoken of this poem in such handsome terms^ 
as I can never meet a stronger confirmation of my own opi- 
nion, than when I find it coinciding with that of so excel- 
lent a critic. The ^era, in w^hich my friend has placed hii 
poem, the hero he has chosen, and the chivalric character,' 
with which he has very properly marked it, are circumstan- 
ces that might naturally prevail with him for modelling it 
upon the stanza of the Fairy Queen, which, though it has not 
so proud a march as the heroic verse, has certainly more of 
the knightly prance in it, and of course more to the writer*s 
purpose than the rhyming couplet. Perhaps the public at 
large have not yet formed a proper estimate of the real merit 
of this heroic poem. Its adoption of a stanza, obsolete and 
repetitionary on the ear, is a circumstance, that stamps upon 
it the revolting air of an imitation, which in fact it is not, 
and deters many from reading it, who would else find mvich 
to admire, and instead of discovering any traces of the Fairy 
Queen, would meet enough to remind them of a nobler mo 
del in the Iliad of Homer. In the mean time it gives me great 
satisfaction to know^ that the author of Richard has since paid 
loyal service to the dramatic Muse, and when a mind so 
prompt in execution, and so fully stored with the knowledge 
both of men and books, shall address its labours to the stage, 
I should be loath to doubt but that the time will come when 
classic writing shall expel grimace. 

I hope I shall in no wise hurt the feelings of a lady, who 
now most worthily fills a very elevated station, if, in speak- 
ing of my humble productions, in the course of my subject 
I cannot avoid to speak of one of the most elegant actresses 
that ever graced the stage. When I brought out my come- 
dy of The JVatural Son^ I flattered myself that in the sketch 
of Lady Paraxon I had conceived a character not quite un- 
worthy of the talents of Miss Farran : it is saying little in the 
way of praise, when I acknowledge the partiality I still re- 
tain for that particular part, and indeed for that play in gen- 
eral. It was acted and published in the same season with 
the Carmelite, and though I did not either in that instance, 
or in any other to my knowledge, obtrude myself upon the 
public to the excluson of a competitor, still it was so that 
the town was pleased to interpret my second appeal to their 
candour, and the newspapers of tlie day vented their malig- 
nancy against me in the most approbrious terms. So exqul- 


site was the style, in which Miss Farran gave her character 
its best display, and so respectable were her auxiliaries in 
the scene, particularly Mr. John Palmer, that they could 
never deprive the comedy of favourable audiences, though 
their eiforts too frequently succeeded in preventing them 
from being full ones. It was a persecution most disgraceful 
to the freedom of the press, and the performers resented 
it with a sensibility, that did them honour ; they traced 
some of the paragraphs to their dirty origin, but upon minds 
entirely debused shame has no effect. 

I now foresaw the coming on of an event, that must inev- 
itably deprive me of one of the greatest comforts, which still 
adhered to me in my decline of fortune. It was too evident 
that tiie constitution of Lord Sackviile, long harassed by the 
painful visitation of that dreadful malady the stone, wasde- 
cideiily giving way. There was in him so generous a re- 
pugnance against troubling his friends with any complaints, 
that it w^as from external evidence only, never from con- 
fession, that his sufferings couid be guessed at. Attacks, 
that would have confined most people to their beds, never 
moved him from his habitual punctuality. It was curious, 
and probably in some men's eyes would from its extreme 
precision have appeared ridiculously minute and formal, 
yet in the movements of a domestic establishment so large 
as his, it had its uses and comforts, which his guests and 
family could not fail to partake of. As sure as the hand of 
the clock pointed to the half-hour after nine, neither a min- 
ute before nor a minute after, so sure did tiie good lord of the 
castle step into his breakfast room, ac<ioutred at all points 
according to his own invariable costuma, with a complacent 
countenance, that prefaced his goo^i-morningto each person 
there assembled ; and now, whilst I recall these senes to 
my remembrance, I feel gratJAed by the reflection, that I 
never passed a night beneadi his roof, but that his morning's 
salutation met me at my posC He allowed an hour and an 
half for breakfast, and regularly at eleven took his morning's 
circuit on horseback at a foot's-pace, for his infirmity would 
not admit of any strong gestation ; he had an old groom, 
wlio had grown grey in his service, that was his constant 
pilot upon these excursions, and his general custom was to 
make the tour of his cottages to reconnoitre the condition 
they were in, whether their roofs were in repair, their win- 
dows whole, and the gardens^vell cropped and neatly kept ; 


all this it was their interest to be attentive to, for he bougfil 
the produce of their fruit-trees, and I have heard him sajf 
with great satisfaction that he has paid thirty shillings in a 
season for strawberries only to a poor cottager, who paid him 
one shilling annual rent for his tenement and garden ; this 
was the constant rate, at which he let them to his labourers, 
and he made them pay it to his steward at his yearly audit, 
that they might feel themselves in the class of regular ten- 
ants, and sit down at table to the good cheer provided for 
them on the audit-day. He never rode out without prepar- 
ing himself with a store of six-pences in his waistcoat'pock^ 
for the children of the poor, who opened gates and drew out 
sliding bars for him in his passing through the enclosures ^ 
these barriers were well watched, and there was rarely any 
employment for a servant ; but these six-pences were nol 
indiscriminately bestowed, for as he kept a charity schod! 
upon his own endowment, he knew to whom he gave tliem 
and generally held a short parley with the gate-opener as he 
'paid his toll for passing. Upon the very first report of ilH 
ness or accident relief was instantly sent, and they were putj 
upon the sick list, regularly visited, and constantly sup 
plied with the best medicine administered upon the bes 
advice; if the poor man lost his cow or his pig or his poultry 
the loss was never made up in money, but in stock. I 
was his CMstom to buy the cast-off liveries of his own ser 
vants as constantly as the day of clothing came about, an< 
these he distributed to the old and worn-out labourers, wh< 
turned out daily on the lawn and paddock in the Sack^ll^ 
livery to pick up bo'igh* and sweep up leaves, and irl shot 
do just as much work &s served to keep them wholesome am 

To his religious duties ibis good man was not only regu 
larly but respectfully attentive : on the Sunday morning h< 
appeared in gala, as if he waii dressed for a drawing room 
he marched out his whole family in grand cavalcade to hi 
parish church, leaving only a centinel to watch the fires ai 
home, and miount guard upon the spits. His deportment 
in the house of prayer was exemplary, and more in charac- 
ter of times past than of time present : he had a way of 
standing up in sermon-time for the purpose of reviewing the 
congregation, and awing the idlers into decorum, that never 
failed to remind me of Sir Roger de Coverley, at church : 
sometimes, when he has been struck with passages ia the 


discourse, which he wished to point out to the audience as 
rules for moral practice worthy to be noticed, he would 
mark his approbation of them with such cheering nods and 
signals of assent to the preacher, as were often more than 
my muscles could withstand ; but when to the total over- 
throw of all gravity, in his zeal to encourage tlie efforts of a 
very young declaimer in the pulpit, I beard him cry out to 
the Reverend Mr. Henry Eatoff in the middle of ! is sermon 
~" Well done, Harry !" It w\\s irresistible ; suppression 
was out of my power : what made it more intolercibly comic 
;was, the unmoved sincerity of his manner, aixl his surprise 
to find any thing had passed, that could provoke a laugh 
so out of time and place. He had nursed up with no small 
care and cost in each df his parish ciiurches a corps of rustic 
psalm-singersj to whose performances he paid the greatest 
attention, rising up, and with his eyes directed to the sing- 
ing gallery, marking time, v/hich v/as not always rigidly 
adhered to, and once, when his ear, which was very cor- 
rect, had been tortured by a tone most glaringly discordant, 
he set his mark upon the culprit by calling out to him by 
name, and loudly saying, "- Out of tune, Tom Baker — !" 
Now this faulty musician Tom Baker happened to be his 
lordship's butcher, but then in order to set names and trades 
upon a par, Tom Butcher was his lordship's baker ; which 
Iobser\'ed to him was much such a reconcilement of cross 
partners as my illustrious friend George Faulkner hit upon, 
when in his Dublin Journal he printed — " Erratum in our 
last — For His Grace the Duchess of Dorset I'cad Her Grace 
the Duke of Dorset — " 

I relate these little anecdotes of a man whose character 
had nothing little in it, that I may show him to my readers in 
his private scenes, and be as far as I am able the intimate 
and true transcriber of his heart. While the marriage-set- 
tlement of his eldest daughter was in preparation, he Scdd 
to the noble person then in treaty for her — '* I am perfectly 
assured, that you have correctly given in a statement of 
your affairs, as you in honour and in conscience religiously 
believe them to be ; but I am much afraid they have been 
estimated to you for better than they really are, and you 
must allow me therefore to apprise you, that I shall propose 
an alteration in my daughter's fortune, more proportioned 
to what I now conceive to be the real valuation of your lord- 
ship's propertv — " To this, when the generous and disiu- 
2 D 


tercsted suitor expressed his ready acquiescence, my friend j 
replied (I had the anecdote from his own mouth) " I peis 
cei\ e your lordship understands me, as proposing a reduc* 
lion from my daughter's portion ; not so, my lord : myJ 
purpose is to double it, that I may have the gratification of j 
taipplying those deficiencies in the statement, which I took! 
the liberty of noticing, and which, as you were not awarej 
of them, might else have disappointed and perhaps misled! 
you — " When he imparted this circumstance to me in the 
v/ords, as nearly as I can remember, but correctly in the 
spirit of those words, he said to me — '' I hope you don't 
suppose I would have done this for my eldest daughter, if I 
had not assured myself of my ability to do the same for th6 
other too — " 

It was in the year 1785, whilst he was at Stoneland, that 
those symptoms first appeared, which gradually disclosed 
such evidences of debility, as could not be concealed, and 
shewed to demonstration, that the hand of death v/as even 
then upon him. He had prepared himself with an opinion 
deliberately formed upon the matter of the Irish Proposi- 
tioriS, and vvhen that great question was appointed to come 
on for discussion in the House of Lords, he thought him-; 
j^eif bound in honour and duty to attend in his place Hfej 
then for the first time confessed himself to be unfit for the 
attempt, and plainly declared he believed it would be his 
death. He paused for a few moments, as if in hesitation 
how to decide, and the air of his countenance was impres- 
sed with melancholy : we were standing under the great 
spreading tree, that shelters the back-entrance to the house ; 
the day was hot ; he had dismounted heavily from his horse ; 
we were alone, and it was plain that exercise, though gen- 
tle, had increased his languor ; he was oppressed both in 
body and spirit ; he did not attempt to disguise it, for he 
could no longer counterfeit : he sate down upon the bench 
at the tree-foot, and composing his countenance, as if he 
wished to have forced a smile upon it, had i;is suffering giv- 
en him leave — " I know, said he, as well as you can tell me, 
what you think of me just now, and that you are convinced 
if I go to town upon this Irish business, I go to my death ; 
but I also know you are at heart not against my undertaking 
it, for I have one convincing proof for ever present to me, 
how much more you consult my honour tnan my safety : 
And after all what do 1 sacrifice, if with the sentence of ine- 


vitable death in iny hand, I only lop oiT a few restless hours, 
and in the execution of my duty meet the stroke r In one 
word I tell you I shall go : we will not have another sylla- 
ble upon the subject ; don't advise it, lest you should repent 
of it, v/hen it has killed me ; and do not oppose it, because it 
would not be your true opinion, and if it were, I would not 
follow it.—" 

It was in that same day after dinner, as I well remember, 
the evening being most serene and lovely, we seated our- 
selves in the chairs, that v>^ere placed out upon the garden 
grass-plat, which looks towards Crowbcrry and the forest. 
bur conversation led us to the affair of Minden ; my friend 
most evidently courted the discussion : I told him 1 had di- 
ligently attended the whole process of the trial, and ihvl I 
had detailed it to Mr. Doddington : I had consequently a 
pretty correct remembrance of the leading circumstances 
as they came out upon the evidence. But I observed to 
him that it was not upon the questions and proceedings agi- 
tated at that court, that I could perfect my opinion of the 
case ; there must be probably a chain of leading causes, 
which though they could not make a part of his defence in 
public court, might if developed, throw such lights on the 
respective conduct of the parties, as Vv ould have led to con- 
clusions different from those which stood upon the record. 

To this he answered that my remark was just : tnere 
were certain circumstances antecedent to the action, that 
should be taken into consideration, and there were certain 
forbearances, posterior to the trial, that should be accounted 
for. The time was come, when he could have no tempta- 
tion to disguise and violate the truth, and a much more aw- 
ful trial was now close at hand, where he must suffer for it. 
if he did. He would talk plainly, temperately and briefly to 
me, as his manner was, provided I would promise him to 
deal sincerely, and not spare to press him on such points, as 
stuck with me for want of explanation. This being premis- 
ed, he entered upon a detail, which unless I could give, as 
taken down from his lips, without the variation of a word, so 
sacred do I hold the reputation of the dead entrusted to me 
and the feelings of the living, whom any| error of nine 
might wound, that I shall forbear to speak of it except in 
general terms. He appeared to me throughout his whole 
discourse like a man, who had perfectly dismissed his pas- 
sions J his colour never changed, his features never indicated 


embarrassment, his voice was never elevated, and being re- 
lieved at tirnes by my questions and remarks, he appeared 
to speak without pain, and in the event his mind seemed 
lightened by the discharge. When I compare what he said4 
to me in his last moments, (not two hours before he expir-1 
ed) with what he stated at this conference, if I did not from 
my heart and upon the most entire conviction of my reason 
and understanding, solemnly acquit that injured man, (now 
gone to his account) of the opprobrious and false imputa- 
tions, deposed against him at his trial, I must be either brut- 
ally ignorant, or willfully obstinate against the truth. 
. At the battle of Fontenoy, at the head of his brave regi- 
ment, in the front of danger and the heat of action, he receiv- 
ed a bullet in his breast, and being taken off the field by his 
grenadiers, was carried into a tent belonging to the equipage 
of the French King, and there laid upon a table, whilst the 
surgeon dressed his wound ; so far had that glorious column 
penetrated in their advance towards victory, unfortunately 
snatched from them. Let us contemplate the same man, 
commanding the British cavalry in the battle of Minden, no 
longer in the front of danger and in the heat of action, no 
longer in the pursuit of victory, for that was gained, and can 
we think with his unjust defamer, that such a man would 
tremble at a flying foe ? It is a supposition against nature, a 
charge that cannot stand, an imputation that confutes itself. 

Perhaps I am repeating things that I have said in my ac- 
count of him, published after his death, hui I have no means 
of referring to that pamphlet, and have been for some time 
writing at Ramsgate, where I have not a single book to 
turn to, and very few papers and minutes of transactions to 
refresh my memory. 

Lord Sackville attended parliament, as he said he would, 
and returned, as he predicted, a dying man. He allowed me 
to call in Sir Francis Millman, then practising at Tunbridge 
Wells : all medical assistance was in vain ; the saponaceous 
medicines, that had given him intervals of ease, and probably 
iTiany years of existence, had now lost their efficacy, or by 
their efficacy worn their conductors out. He wished to take 
his last leave of the Earl of Mansfield, then at Tunbridge 
Wells ; I signified this to the earl, and accompanied him in 
his chaise to Stoneland ; I was present at their interview. 
Lord Sackville, just dismounted from his horse, came into 
the room, where we had waited a very few minutes, and 


staggered as he advanced to reach his hand to his respecta- 
ble visitor ; he drew his breath with palpitating quickness, 
and if I remember rightly never rode again ; there was u 
death-like character in his countenance, that visibly affected 
and disturbed Lord Mansfield in a manner that I did not 
quite expect, for it had more of horror it, tlian a firm man 
ought to have shewn, and less perhaps of other feelings than 
a friend, invited to a meeting of that nature, must have dis- 
covered, had he not hQQ^n frightened from his prof irietij . 

As soon as Lord Sackville had recovered his breath, his 
visitor remaining silent, he began by apologising for the trou- 
ble he had given him, and for the unpleasant spectacle he was 
conscious of exhibiting to him in the condition he was now 
reduced to ; " but my good lord, he said, though I ought not 
to have imposed upon you the painful ceremony of paying 
a last visit to a dying man, yet so great was my anxiety to 
return you my unfeigned thanks for all your goodness to 
me, all the kind protection you have shewn me through the 
course of my unprosperous life, that I could not know you 
was so near me, and not wish to assure you of the invariable 
respect I have entertained for your character, and now in 
the most serious m.anner to solicit your forgiveness, if ever in 
the fluctuations of politics or the heats of party, I have appear- 
ed in your eyes at any moment of my life unjust to your 
great merits, or forg-etful of your many favours." 

When I record this speech, I give it to the reader as cor- 
rect ; I do not trust to memory at this distance ; I transcribe 
it : I scorn the paltry trick of writing speeches for any man, 
whose name is in these Memoirs, or for myself, in whose 
name these Memoirs shall go forth respectable at least for 
their veracity ; for I certainly cannot wish to present my- 
self to the world in two such opposite and incoherent cha- 
racters as the writer of my own history, and the hero of a 

Lord Mansfield made a reply perfectly becoming and 
highly satisfactory : he was far on in years, and not in ScUi- 
guine health or a strong state of nerves ; there was no im- 
mediate reason to continue the discourse ; Lord Sackville 
did not press for it ; his visitor departed, and I staid with 
him. He made no other observation upon what had passed 
than that it v/as extremely obliging in Lord Mansfield, and 
Ihen turned to other subjects. 

In him the vital principle was strong, and nature, which 
2 D 2 


resisted dissolution, maintained at every out-post, that de- 
fended life, a lingering agonizing struggle. Through every 
stage of varied misery — extremes by change more fierce'-*^ 
iiis fortitude remained unshaken, his senses perfect, and his 
mind never died, till the last pulse was spent, and his heart ; 
stopped for ever. 

In this period intelligence arrived of the Propositions be- 
ing withdrawn in the Irish House of Commons : he had let- 
ters on this subject from several correspondents, and one 
from Lord Sydney, none of which we thought fit then to give 
him. I told him in as few words and as clearly as I could 
how the business passed, but requested he would simply 
hear it, and not argue upon it — " I am not sorry, he said, 
tfrat it has so happened. You can witness that my predic- 
tions are verified : something might now be set on foot for 
the benefit of both countries. I wish I could live long enough 
to give my opinion in my place ; I have formed my thoughts 
upon it ; but it is too late for me to do any good ; I hope it 
will fall into abler hands, and you forbid me to argue. I 
see you are angry with me for talking, and indeed it gives 
me pain. I have nothing to do in this life, but to obey and 
be t ilent — " From that moment he never spoke a word up- 
on the subject. 

As I I knew he had been some time meditating on his 
preparations to receive the sacrament, and death seemed 
Dear at hand, I reminded him of it ; he declared himself 
ready and at peace with all mankind ; in one instance only 
he confessed it cost him a hard struggle. What that instance 
was he needed not to explain to me, nor am I careful to ex»- 
plain to any. I trust according to the infirmity of man's na- 
ture he is rather to be honoured for having finally extinguish- 
ed his resentment, than condemned for having fostered it 
too long. A^ Christian Saint would have done it sooner; 
how many men would not have done it ever ! 

The Reverend Mr. Sackville Bayle, his worthy parish 
priest and ever faithful friend, administered the solemn office 
of tlie sacraiTient to him, reading at his request the prayers 
for a communicant at the point of death. He had ordered 
all his bed-curtains to be opened and the sashes thrown up, 
th?A h.e might have air and space to assist him in his efforts : 
what they were, with what devotion he joined in those solemn 
prayers, that warn the parting spirit to dismiss all hopes that 
centre in this world, that reverend friend can witness ; I 


also was a witness and a partaker ; none else was present at 
that holy ceremony. 

A short time before he expired I came by his desire to 
his bedside, when taking my hand and pressing it between 
his, he addressed me for the last time in the following words 
•— '' You see me now in those moments, when no disguise 
will serve, and when the spirit of a man must be proved, 
I have a mind perfectly resigned, and at peace within itself. 
I have done with this world, and what I have done in it, I 
have done for the best ; I hope and trust I am prepared for 
the next. Tell not me of all that passes in health and pride 
of heart ; these are the moments in which a man must be 
searched, and remember that I die, as you see me, with a 
tranquil conscience and content — " I have reason to know 
I am correct in these expressions, because I transcribe them 
word for word from a copy of my letter to the Honourable 
^^eorge Darner, now Earl of Dorchester, written a few 
days after his uncle Lord Sackville's death, and dated Sep- 
tember ISth, 1785. 

To that excellent and truly noble p-erson I recommend and 
devote this short but faithful sketch of his relation's character^ 
conscious how highly he deserved.^ and how entirely he possess* 
edj the love and the esteem of the deceased. 

It may to some appear strange that I do not rather ad- 
dress myself to the present lord, the eldest son of his father 
and the inheritor of his title. He, who knows he has no plea 
for slighting the friend, who has loved him, knows that he 
has put it out of my power, and that I must be of all men 
most insensible, if I did not poignantly feel and feelingly la- 
ment his unmerited neglect of me. If the foregoing pages 
ever meet his eyes, I hope the record of his father's virtues 
will inspii^e him to imitate his father's example. * 

I put in my plea for pardon in the very first page of my 
book with respect to errors in the dates of my disorderly 
productions. I should have mentioned my comedy of The 
Imfiostor^ and the publication of my novel of j^rundel in two 
volumes, which I hastily put together whilst I was passing 
a few idle weeks at Brighthelmstone, where I had no books 
but such as a circulating novel-shop afforded. I dispatched 
that work so rapidly, sending it to the press by parcels, of 


which my first copy was the only one, that I really do not \ 
remember what moved me to the undertaking, nor how i^ 
came to pass that the cacoethes scmbendi nugiis first got hold 
of me. Be this as it may, I am not about to afi*ect a modesn 
ty^ which I do not feel, or to seek a shelter from the sm d 
writing ill, by acknowledging the folly of writing rapidly^ 
for I believe that Arundel has entertained as many readers^ 
and gained as good a character in the world as most heroe^ 
of his description, not excepting the immaculate Sir Charlesr 
Grandison, in whose company I have never found myself 
without being puzzled to decide, whether I am most edified 
by his morality, or disgusted by his pedantry. Arundel 
perhaps, of all the children which my brain has given birth 
to, had the least care and pains bestowed upon his educa-l 
lion, yet he is a gentleman, and has been received as such 
in the first circles, for though he takes the wrong side of the 
question in his argument with Moitlake upon duelling, yeU 
there is hardly one to be found, who thinks with Mortlake, 
but would be shamed out of Society, if he did not act with 
Arundel. In the character of the Countess of G. I confess 
I have set virtue upon ice ; she slips, but does not fall ; and 
if I have endov/ed the young ladles with a degree of sensi- 
bility, that might have exposed them to danger, I flatter 
myself I have taken the proper means of rescuing them 
from it by marrying them respectively to the men of their 

The success however, which by this novel I obtained 
without labour, determined me to write a second, on which 
I was resolved to betow my utmost care and diligence. In 
this temper of mind I began to form to myself in idea what I 
conceived should be the model of a perfect novel ; having 
after much deliberation settled and adjusted this to the best 
of my judgment, I decided for the novel in detail ; rejecting 
the epistolary process, which I had pursued in Arundel, and 
also that, in which the hero speaks throughout, and is his 
own biographer ; though in putting both these processes 
aside I felt much more hesitation in the last-mentioned case 
than in the first. 

Having taken Fielding's admirable novel of Tom Jones 
as my pattern in point of detail, I resolved to copy it also in 
its distribution into chapters and books, and to prefix prefa- 
tory numbers to the latter, to the composition of which I 
addressed my best attention. In some of these I have taken 


occasion to submit those rules for the construction of a no- 
vel, which I flattered myself mi^ht be of use to future wri- 
ters in that line, less experienced than myself. How far I 
have succeeded is not for me to say, but if I have failed, I 
am without excuse, for I had this work in hand two full 
years, and gave more polish and correction to the style, than 
ever I bestowed upon any of my published works before. 
The following few rules which I laid down for my own guid- 
ance, and strictly observed, 1 still persuade myself are such 
as ought to be observed by others. 

I would have the story carried on in a regular uninter- 
rupted progression of events, without those dull recitals, that 
call the 'attention off from what is going on, and compel it 
to look back, perhaps in the very crisis of curiosity, to cir- 
cumstances antecedent to, and not always materially con- 
nected with, the history in hand. I am decidedly adverse 
to episodes and stories within stories, like that of the Man 
of the Hill in Tom Jones, and in general all expedients of 
procrastination, which come under the description of mere 
tricks to torture curiosity, are in my opinion to be very spa- 
ringly resorted to, if not totally avoided. Casualties and 
broken-bones, and faintings and high fevers with ramblings 
of delirium and rhapsodies of nonsense are perfectly con- 
temptible. I think descriptive writing, properly so distin- 
guished, is very apt to describe nothing, and that landscapes 
upon paper leave no picture in the mind, and only load the 
page with daubings, that in the author's fancy may be sketch- 
es after nature, but to the reader's eye offer nothing but con- 
fusion. A novel, professing itself to be the delineation of 
men and women as they are in nature, should in general 
confine itself to the relation of things probable, and though 
in skilful hands it may be made to touch upon things barely 
possible, the seldomer it risques those experiments, the 
better opinion I should form of the contriver's conduct : I 
do not think quotations ornament it, and poetry must be ex- 
tremely good before I can allow it is of any use to it. In 
short there should be authorities in nature for every thing 
that is introduced, and the only case I can recollect in which 
the creator of the fictitious man may and ought to differ 
from the biographer of the real man, is, that the former is 
bound to deal out his rewards to the virtuous and punish- 
ments to the vicious, whilst the latter ha.s no choice but to 


adhere to the truth of facts, and leave his hero neither worse 
nor better than he found him. 

Monsters of cruelty and crime, Monks and Zelucos, hor-^ 
hors and thunderings and ghosts are creatures of another re-J 
gion, tools appropriated to another trade, and are only to^ 
be handled by dealers in old castles and manufactures of* 

As the tragic drama may be not improperly described as' 
an epic poem of compressed action^ so I think we may call the 
novel a dilated comedy ; though Henry Fielding, who was pre- 
eminently happy in the one, was not equally so in the other : 
non o?7inia possumus omnes. If the readers of Henry have 
agreed with me in the principles laid down in those prefa- 
tory chapters, and here again briefly touched upon, I flatter 
myself they found a novel conducted throughout upon those 
very principles, and which in no one instance does a violence 
to nature, or resorts to forced and improbable expedients to 
excite surprise ; I flatter myself they found a story regularly 
progressive without any of those retrogradations or coun- 
ter-marches, which break the line, and discompose the ar- 
rangement of the fable : I hope they found me duly careful 
to keep the principal characters in sight, and above all if I 
devoted myself con amore to the delineation of Zachary Caw* 
c?/e, and in a more particular manner to the best services I 
could perform for the good Ezekiel Da%v^ I warmly hope they 
did not think my partiality quite misapplied, or my labour of 
love entirely thrown away. 

If in my zeal to exhibit virtue triumphant over the most 
tempting allurements, I have painted those allurements in 
too vivid colours I am sorry, and ask pardon of all those, who 
thought the moral did not heal the mischief. 

If my critics have not been too candid I am encouraged to 
believe, that in these volumes of Henry^ and in those of 
The Observer^ I have succeeded in what I laboured to efl'ect 
with all my care — a simple, clear, harmonious style ; which, 
taken as a model, may be followed without leading the novi- 
tiate either into turgiciity or obscurity, holding a middle tone 
of period, neither swelling into high-flown metaphor, nor 
sinking into inelegant and unclassical rusticity. Whether or 
not I have succeeded, I certainly have attempted, to reform 
and purify my native language from certain false pedantic 
prevalances, which were much in fashion, when I first be- 
came a writer 5 1 dare not say with those, whose flattery 


might mislead me, that I have accomphshed what I aimed 
at, but if 1 have done something* towards it, 1 may say, with 
Pliny— /^o-s'^em an aliqua cura nostri^ nescio. JKos certe 
mercmur ut sit aliqua ; non dicam ingenio ; id einm aufierbum ; 
scd studio^ sed labor e^ sedrevercntia fiosterorum. 

The mental gratification which the exercise of the fancy in 
the act of composition gives me, has, (with the exception 
only of the task I am at present engaged in) ^ed me to that in- 
ordinate consumption of paper, of which much has been 
profitless, much unseen, and very much of that which has 
been seen, would have been more worthy ccf the world, had 
I bestowed more blotting upon it before I committed it to 
the press : yet I am now about to mention a poem not the 
most imperfect of my various productions, of which the first 
manuscript copy was the only one, and that perhaps the 
fairest I had ever put out of my hands. Heroic verse has 
been always more fcimiiiar to me, and more easy in point of 
composition, than prose : my thoughts flovv^ more freely in 
metre, and I can oftentimes fill a puge with less labour and 
less time in verse of tnat description, than it costs me to 
adjust and harmonise a single period in prose to my entire 

The work I now allude to is my poem of Calvary^ and 
the gratification, of which I have been speaking, mixed as 
I trust with worthier and more serious motives, led me 
to that undertaking. It had never been my hard lot to write, 
as many of my superiors have been forced to do, task-work 
for a bookseller, it was therefore my custom, as it is with 
voluptuaries of another description, to fly from one pursuit 
to another for the greater zest which change and contrast 
gave to my intellectual pleasures. I had as yet done nothing 
in the epic way, except my juvenile attempt, of which I 
have given an extract, and I applied myself to the compo- 
sition of Calvary with uncommon ardour ; I began it 
in the winter, and, rising every morning some hours before 
day-light, soon dispatched the whole poem of eight books 
at the average of full fifty lines in a day, of which I kept a 
regular account, marking each day's work upon my manu- 
script. I mention, because it is a fact ; but I am not 
so mistaken as to suppose that any author can be entitled to 
take credit to himself for the little care he has bestowed upon 
his com.positions. 

It was ;not till I had taken up Milton's immortal poem 


of Paradise Lost, and read it studiously, and completely 
through, that I brought the plan of Calvary to a consistency,; 
and resolved to venture on the attempt. I saw such aids ia 
point of character, incident and diction, such facilities held 
out by tiie sacred historians, as encouraged me to hope I 
miglit aspire to introduce my humble Muse upon that hal-- 
jowed ground without profaning it. 

As for the difficulties, which by the nature of his subjecl 
Milton had to encounter, I perceved them to be such as no- 
thing but tae genius of Milton could surmount : that he 
has failed in some instances cannot be denied, but it is matter 
of wonder and admiration, that he has miscarried in so few. 
The noble structure he has contrived to raise with the co- 
operation of two human beings only, and those the first cre-« 
ated of the human race, strikes us with astonishment ; hut 
at the same time it forces him upon such frequent flights be- 
yond the bounds of nature, and obliges him in so great a de- 
gree to depend upon the agency of supernatural beings, of 
whose persons we have no prototype, and of whose opera- 
tions, offices and intellectual powers we are incompetent to 
form any adequate conception, that it is not to be wondered at, 
if there ure parts and passages in that divine poem, that we 
either pass over by choice, or cannot read without regret. 

Upon a single text in scripture he has described a Battle 
in Heaven^ in most respects tremendously sublime, in oth- 
ers painfully reminding us how impossible it is for man's 
limited imagination to find weapons for immortal spirits, or 
conceive an army of rebellious angels employing instruments 
of human invention upon the vain impossible idea, that 
their material artillery could shake the immaterial throne of 
the One Supreme Being, the Almighty Creator and Dispo- 
ser of them and the universe. Accordingly when we are pre- 
sented with the description of Christ, the meek Redeemer of 
mankind, going fort i in a chariot to the battle, brilliant al- 
though the picture is, it dazzels and we start from it revolt- 
ed by the blaze. But when the'poet, deeming himself com- 
petent to find words for the Almighty, contrives a confer- 
rence between the First and Second Persons in the Trinity, 
we are compelled to say with Pope 

That God the Father turns a school-divine » 

i must entreat my readers not so to misconceive my 


meaning as to suppose me vain enough to think, that by no- 
ticing these spots in Milton's glorious sun, I am advancing 
my dim lamp to any the most distant competition with it. 
I have no other motive for mentioning them but to convince 
the patrons of these Memoirs, that I did not attempt the 
composition of a sacred epic, where he must for ever stand 
so decidedly pre-eminent, till by comparing the facilities of 
my subject with the amazing difficulties of his, I had found 
a bow proportioned to my strength, and did not presume 
to bend it till I was certified of its flexibility. 

It could not possibly be overlooked by me, that in taking 
the Death of Christ for my subject, I had the advantage of 
dating my poem at a point of time, the most awful in the 
whole history of the world, the most pregnant with sublime 
events, and the most fully fraught with grand and interesting 
characters ; that I had those characters, and those events, 
so pointedly delineated and so impressively described by the 
inspired historians, as to leave little else for me to do, but 
to restrain invention, and religiously to follow in the path, 
that was chalked out to me. Accordingly I trust there will 
be found very little of the audacity of fancy in the composi* 
tion of Calvary^ and few sentiments or expressions ascribed 
to the Saviour, which have not the sanction and authority of 
the sacred records. When he descends into Hades I have 
endeavoured to avail myself of what has been revealed to us 
for those conjectural descriptions, and I hope I have not far 
outstepped discretion, or heedlessly indulged a wild imagi- 
nation ; for though I venture upon untouched ground, pre- 
suming to unfold a scene, which mystery has involved in 
darkness, yet 1 have the visions of the Saint at Patmos to 
hold up a light to me, and assist me in my efforts to pervade 

My first publication of Calvary in quarto had so languid a 
sale, that it left me with the inconvenient loss of at least one 
Tiundred pounds, and the discouraging conviction, that the 
public did not concern itself about the poem, or the poem- 
maker ; I felt at the same time a proud indignant conscious- 
ness, that it claimed a better treatment, and whilst I called 
to mind the true and brotherly devotion I had ever borne to 
the fame of my contemporaries, I was stung by their neg- 
lect ; and having laid my poem on the death of my Redeem- 
er at the feet of my Sovereign, Vv^hich, for aught that ever 
-reached my knowledge, he might, or might not, have receiv- 

2 E 


ed by the hand of his librarian, I had nothing to console me 
but the reflection that there ^v©u!d perhaps be a tribunal, 
that would deal out justice to me, when I could not be a 
gainer by it, and speak favourably of my performance, when 
1 could not hear their praises. 

I shall now take leave of Calvary after acknov>iedging my 
obligations to my publishers for their speculation of a new 
edition, and also to the purchasers of that edition for their 
reconcilement to a book, which, till it was reduced to a 
more portable size, they were little disposed to take away 
with them. 

I consider Tristram Shandy as the most eccentic work of 
my time, and Junius the most acrimonious ; we have heard 
much of his style ; I have just been readmg him over with 
attention, and I confess I can see but little to admire. The 
^'ling to wonder at is, that a secret, to which several must 
have been privy, has been so strictly kept ; if Sir William 
Draper, who baffled him in some of his assertions, had kept 
bis name out of sight, I am inclined to think he might have 
held up the cause of candour with success. The publisher 
of Junius I am told was deeply guaranteed ; of course, al- 
though he might not know his author, he must have known 
whereabouts to look for him. I never heard that my friend 
Lord George Germain was amongst the suspected authors, 
till by way of jest he told me so not many days before his 
death : I did not v. ant him to disavow it, for there could be 
no occasion to disprove an absolute impossibility. The man 
who wrote it, had a savage heart, for some of his attacks are 
execrable ; he was a hypocrite, for he disavows private mo- 
tives, and makes pretentions to a patriotic spirit. I can per- 
fectly call to mind the general effect of his letters, and am 
of opinion that his malice overshot its mark. Let the ano- 
nymous defamer be as successful as he may, it is but an un- 
eviable triumph, a mean and cowardly gratification, which 
his dread of a discovery forbids him to avow. 

As for Tristrain Shandy^ whose many plagiarisms are 
now detected, his w^ant of delicacy is unpardonable, and his 
tricks have too much of frivolity and buffoonery m them to 
pass upon the reader ; but his real merit lies not only in his 
general conception of character, but in the address, with 
which he marks them out by those minute, yet striking 
touc!aes of his pencil, that make his descriptions pictures, 
and his pictures life : in the pathetic he excels, as his story 


of Lefevre witnesses, but he seems to have niistaken his 
powers, and capriciously to have misapplied his genius. 

I conceive there is not to be found in all tlie wniings of^ 
my day, perhaps I may say not in tlie English language, so 
brilliant a cluster of fine and beautiful passages in the de- 
clamatory style, as we are presented with in Edmund Burke's 
inimitable tract upon the French Revolution. It is most 
highly coloured and most richly ornamented, but there is 
elegance in its splendour, and dignity in its magnificence. 
The orator demands attention in a loud and lofty tone, but 
his voice never loses its melody, nor his periods their sweet- 
ness. When he has roused us with the thunder of his elo- 
quence, he can at once, Timotheus-like, chuse a melan- 
choly theme, and melt us into pity : there is grace in his 
anger ; for he can inveigh without vulgarity ; he can mod- 
ulate the strongest bursts of passion, for even in his madness 
there is music. 

I was so charmed w^ith the style and matter of this pam- 
phlet, that I could not withstand the pleasure of intruding 
upon him with a letter of thanks, of which I took no copy, 
but fortunately have preserved his answer to it, which is as 

" Beconsfield, November 13, 1790. 
" Dear Sir, 

" I was yesterday honoured with your most obliging 
letter. You may be assured, that nothing could be more 
flattering to me than the approbation of a gentleman so dis- 
tinguished in literature as you are, and in so great a variety 
of its branches. It is an earnest to me of that degree of tol- 
eration in the public judgment, which may give my reason- 
ings some chance of 'being useful. I know, however, that I 
am indebted to your politenes and your good nature as much 
as to your opinion, for the indulgent manner, in which you 
have been pleased to receive my endeavour. Whether I 
have described our countrymen properly, time is to shew : 
I hope I have, but at any rate it is perhaps the best way to 
persuade them to be right by supposing that they are so. 
Great bodies, like great men, must be instructed in the way, 
in which they will be best pleased to receive instruction ; 
flattery itself may be converted into a mode of counsel : lau- 
dando admonere ha^ not always been the most unsuccessful 
method of advice. In this case moral policy requires it, 
for when you most expose the practices of some kinds of 


men, you d.o nothing if you do not distinguish them fron 

" Accept once more my best acknowledgments forthdl 
very handsome manner, in v/hich you have been pleased to^ 
consider my pamphlet, and do me the justice to believe me 
with the most perfect respect, 

<* Dear Sir, your most faithful 

*' And obliged humble servant, 
" Edm. Burke." 

Am I, or am I not, to regret that this fine writer devoted 
himself so professedly to politics ? I conceive there must be 
two opinions upon this question amongst his contempora- 
ries, and only one that will be entertained by posterity. 
Those who heard his parliamentary speeches with delight, 
will not easily be induced to wish tiiat he had spoken less ; 
whilst those, who can only read him, vvill naturally regret 
that he had not written mxore. The orator, like the actor, 
lives only in the memory of his hearers, and his fame must 
rest upon tradition : Mr. Burke in parliament enjoyed the 
triumph of a day, but Mr. Burke on paper would have been 
the founder of his own immortality. 

Amongst the variety of branches, to which Mr. Burke is 
pleased so flatteringly to allude, and which certainly are 
more in number than the literary annals of any author in my 
recollection can exhibit, I reflect with satisfaction that I 
have devoted much time and thought to serious subjects, 
and been far from idle or luke-warm in the service of reli- 
gion. I have written at different times as many sermons as 
would make a large volume, some of which have been de* 
iivered from the pulpits : 1 have rendered into English me- 
tre fifty of the psalms of David, which are printed by Mr. 
Strange of Tunbridge Wells, and upon which I flatter my- 
self I have not in vain bestowed my best attention. I have 
for some years been in the habit of composing an appropri- 
ate prayer of thanksgiving for the last day in the year, and 
of supplication for the first day in the succeeding year. I 
published by Messrs. Laekington and Co. a religious and ar- 
gumentative tract, entitled, A few Plain Reasons for believ- 
ing in the Evidences of the Christian Revelation; and this 
tract, which I conceive to be orthodox in all its. points, and 
unanswerably demonstrative as a confutation of all the false 
reasoners according to the new philosophy, I presented with 
all due defei'ence to the Bishop of London, who was pleased 


to honour me with a very gracious acknowledgment by let- 
ter, and likewise to the late Archbishop of Canterbury, who 
was not pleased to acknowledge it in any way whatever. 
But I had no particular right to expect it : all regulars are 
not equally candid to the volunteer, as I have good reason 
to know. 

I have selected several passages from the Old Testament, 
and turned them into verse : they are either totally lost, or 
hurried out of sight in the chaos of my manuscripts : I find 
one only amongst the few loose papers I have with me, anil 
I take the liberty of inserting it : — 

" Judges^ Chafiter the 5 th. 

. "- Hear, all earth's crowned monarchs, hear ! 
Princes and Judges, to m.y song give ear : 
To Israel's God my voice I'll raise, 
And joyful chaunt Jehovah's praise. 
Lord, when in Edonl's glorious day 
Thou wentest fourth in bright array, 
Earth to her inmost centre shook. 
The mountains melted at thy look, 
The clouds dropp'd down their wat'ry store,. 
Rent with the thunder's loud tremendous roar. 

" M\ist I remember Shamgar's gloomy days, 
And that sad time when Jael rul'd our coast ? 
No print of foot then mark'd our public w ays. 
Waste horror reign'd, the human face Vv^as lost. 
Then I, I Deborah, assum'd cominand. 
The nursing mother of the drooping land ; 
Then was our nation alien from the Lord, 
Then o'er our heads high wav'd the hostile swoa^d. 
Nor shield, nor spear, was found to arm for fight, 
And naked thousands turn'd their backs in flight. 

" But now awake, iny soul, and thou arise, 
Barak ; to these the victory is giv'n ; 
Let our joint song ascend the skies. 
And celebrate the majesty of heav'n. 
On me, the priestess of the living Lord, 
The care of Israel was bestow 'd : 
Ephraim and Benjamin obey'd my word, 

2 ii 2 


The Scribes of Zebulun allegiance shewM, 

And Issachar, a princely train, 

With glittering ensigns dazzled all the plain. 

But oh ! what sad divisions keep 
jReuben inglorious 'midst his bleating sheep ? 
Giiead in Jordan his asylum seeks, naM 

Dan in his ships, and Asher in his creeks, '^Vl 

Whilst Naphthali's more warlike sons expose '^ 

Their gallant lives, and dare their country's foea. 
Then was the battle fought by Canaan's kings 
In Taanach beside Megiddo's springs : 
The stars themselves 'gainst Sicera declare ; 

Israel is heaven's peculiar care. 

Old Kishon stain'd with hostile blood, 

RoU'd to the main a purple flood ; 

The neighing steed, the thund'ring car 

Proclaim'd the terrors of the war ; 

But high in honour 'bove the rest 

Be Jael our avenger blest. 
Blest above women ! to her tent she drew 
With seeming friendship label's mighty chiefj 
Fainting with heat and toil he sought relief, 
He slept, and in his sleep her weary guest she sleW. 

The workman's hammer in this hand she took, 
In that the fatal nail, then boldly struck ; 
Through both his temples drove the deadly wound, 
Transfixed his brain and pinn'd him to the ground. 
Why stays my son, his absent mother cries ; 
When shall I welcome his returning car. 

Loaded with spoils of conqu'ring war ? 

Ah, wretched mother, hide thine eyes ; 
At Jael's feet a headless trunk he lies — 
So Sisera fell, and God made wars to cease, 
So rested Israel, and the land had peace." 

Of my dramatic pieces I must say in the gross, that 
if I did not always succeed in entertaining the audience, I 
contiued to amuse myself. I brought out a comic opera in 
three acts, founded oti the story of Wat Tyler^ which being 
objected to by the Lord Chamberlain, I was obliged to nev/ 
model, and produce under the title of The Armourer, When 
I had taken ail the comedy out of it, I was not surprized to 


find that the public were not very greatly edified by what 
was left. 

I also brought out a comedy called The Country Attorney 
at the summer theatre, when it was under the direction of 
the elder Mr. Colman. At the same theatre, under the aus- 
pices of the present candid and ingenious superintendant, I 
produced my comedy of The Box-Lobby Challenge^ and my 
drama oi Don Pedro. 

When the new and splendid theatre of Drury-Lane was 
opened, my comedy of The Jew was represented, and if I 
am not mistaken, (I speak upon conjecture) it was the first 
new piece exhibited on that stage. I am ashamed to say 
with what rapidity I dispatched that hasty composition, but 
my friend Bannister, who saw it act by act, was witness to 
the progress of it ; in what degree he was a promoter of the 
success of it I need not say : poor Suett also, now no more, 
was an admirable second. 

The benevolence of the audience assisted me in rescuing 
a forlorn and persecuted character, which till then had only 
been brought upon the stage for the unmanly purpose of be* 
ing made a spectacle of contempt, and a butt for ridicule : 
In the success of this comedy I felt of course a greater grat- 
ification, than I had ever felt before upon a like occasion. 

The part of Sheva presented Mr. Bannister to the public 
in that light, in which he will always be seen, when nature 
fairly drawn and strongly charactered is committed to his 
care. Let the poet give him the model, and his animation 
v/ill give it the action and the life. 

It has also served as a stepping-stone to the stage for an 
actor, who in my judgment, (and 1 am not afraid of being 
singular in that opinion) stands amongst the highest of his 
profession ; for if quick conception, true discrimination, and 
the happy faculty of incarnating the idea of his poet, are pro- 
perties essential in the almost undefinable compositions of a 
great and perfect actor, these and many more will be found 
in Mr. Dowton. Let those, who have a claim upon his ser- 
vices, call him to situations not unworthy of his best exer- 
tions, and the stage will feel the value of his talents. 

The Wheel of Fortune came out in the succeeding season, 
and First Love followed close upon its steps. They were 
successful comedies, and very powerfully supported by the 
performers of them in every part throughout. I was fortu- 
tunate in the plot of the first ; for there is dignity of mind in 


the forgiveness of injuries, which elevates the character of 
Penruddock, and Mr. Kemble's just personification of it ad- 
ded to a lucky fiction all the force and interest of a reality. 
When so much belongs to the actor, the author must be care- ' 
ful how he arrogates too much to himself. 

Oi First Love I shall only say, that when too such exqui- J 
site actresses conspired to support me,' I will not be so vain 1 
as to presume I could have stood without their help. 

I think, as I am now so near the conclusion of these Me- 
moirs, I may as well wind up my dealings with the theatres 
before I proceed any further. I am beholden to Covent 
Garden for accepting my dramas of The Days of Yore and 
False imliressions — To Drury-Lane for The last of the Fami- 
ly^ The Word for Mature ^^ The Dependant^ The Eccentric 
JLover^ and for The Sailor^s Daughter, My life has been a 
long one, and my health of late years uninterrupted ; I am 
very rarely called off by avocations of an undomestic kind, 
and the man who gives so very small a portion of his time 
to absolute idleness as I have done, will do a vast deal in the 
course of time, especially if his body does not stand in need 
of exercise, and his mind, which never knows remission of 
activity, incessantly demands to be employed. 

I was in the practice of interchanging an annual visit with 
Mrs. Bludworth of Holt near Winchester, the dearest friend 
of my wife. When I was upon those visits I used to amuse 
myself with trifles, that required no application to my books. 
A few from amongst many of these fugitive compositions 
appear to me not totally unworthy of being arrested and 
brought to the bar as petti-larcenary pilferers of the sonnet- 
writing style, of which some elegant sisters of the Muses 
have published such ingenious originals, as ought to have 
secured them against interlopers, who have nothing bet- 
ter to produce than some such awkward imitations as the 


JSTo, 1. 

" How shall I paint thee, many-colour'd Wit ? 
Where are the pallet's brilliant tints to vie 
With the bright flash of thine electric eye t 
Nor can I catch the glance ; nor wilt thou sit 


Till my slow copying art can trace 
One feature of thy varying face. 

Soul of the social board, thy quick retort 
Can cut the disputatious quibbler short, 
Stop the dull pedant's circumstantial saw, 
And silence ev'n the loud-tongu'd man of law4 

The solemn ass, who dully great 
Mistakes stupidity for state. 
Unbends his marble jaws, and brays 
Involuntary, painful praise. 

Thou, Wit, in philosophic eyes 
Cans't make the laughing waters rise ; 
Proud Science vails with bended knee 
His academic cap to thee. 
And though thy sallies fly the test 
Of truth, she titters at the jest. 

Thrice happy talent, couldst thou understand 

Virtue to spare and buff'et vice alone, 
Would'st thou but take discretion by the hand, 

The world, O Wit, the world would be thine own.^* 


JVo. 2. 

" Why, Affectation, why this mock grimace ? 
Go, silly thing, and hide that simpering face ! 
Thy lisping prattle and thy mincing gait, 
All thy false mimic fooleries I hate ; 
For thou art Folly's counterfeit, and she, 
Who is right-foolish, hat1i the better plea ; 
Nature's true ideot I prefer to thee. 

Why that soft languish ? Why that drawling tone i 
Art sick, art sleepy ? — Get thee hence ; begone 1 
I laugh at all those pretty baby tears. 
Those flutterings, faintings and unreal fears. 

Can they deceive us ? Can such mumm'ries move^. 
Touch us with pity, or inspire with lovQ ? 


No, Affectation, vain is all thine art, 
Those eyes may wander over every part ; 
They'll never find their passage to the heart/^ 


M. 3. 

'' Go, Vanity, spread forth the painted wing ; 
I'll harm the not, gay flutterer, not I ? 

Poor innocent, thou has no sting, 
Pass on unhurt 1 I war not with a fly. 

But if the Muse in sportive style 

Banters thy silly freaks awhile. 

Fear not — she'll lash thee only with a smile. 

If thou art heard too loud of tongue, 

And thy small tap of wit runs out 

Too fast, and bubbles all about, 
'Twere charity m^thinks to stop the bung. 

If when thou should'tbe staid and sage, 

Thou'lt take no warning from old age, 

But still run riot, and spread sail 
In all the colours of the peacock's tail : 
If, with two hollow cheeks bedaub'd with red. 
The Ostrich plume nods on thy palsied head ; 
And with soft glances from lack-lustre eyes 
Thou aim'st to make our hearts thy beauty's prize^ ' 

Then, then. Dame Vanity, beware ; ' 

Look to thyself — beshrew me, if I spare." 


Ab. 4. 

" A little more, and yet a little more — 
Oh, for the multiplying art 
To heap the still-increasing store, 
Till it make Osa like a wart ! 

O Avarice, thou rage accurst. 

Insatiate dropsy of the soul. 

Will nothing quench thy sordid thirsf ! 

Were the sea gold, would'st drink the whole < 


Lo ! pity pleads-^What then I There's none— 
The widow kneels for bread — Begone—^ 
Hark, in thine eurs the orphans' cry ; 
They die of famhje— Let theai die.— . 

Oh scene of woe ; heart-rending sight ! 
Can'st thou turn from tliem ? — Y^es, behold — ! 
From all those heaps of hoarded gold 
Not one, one piece to save them ? — Not a mite.— 

Pitiless wretch, such shall thy sentence be 
At the last day when Mercy turns from thee." 


M. 5. 

'^' What is that stiff and stately thing I see ? 

Of flesh and blood like you and me, 

Or is it chisel'd out of stone. 
Some statue from its pedestal stept down ? 

*Tis one and both — a very prude 

Of marble flesh and icy blood : 

Dead and alive at once — behold 
It breathes and lives ; touch it, 'tis dead and cold. 

Look how it throws the scowling eye 

On Pleasure as she dances by ; 
Quick flies the sylph, for long she cannot beat 
The damping rigour of its atmosphere, 

Chill as the eastern fog that blights 

Each blossom upon which it lights. 

Say, ye that know what virtue is, declare, 
Is this the form her votaries must wear ? 
Tell me in time ; if such it needs must be, 
Virtue and I shall never more agree." 


^^o. 6. 

fSee The Observer, VoL 4. M. 94.^ 



jvb. r. 

^' Curst in thyself, O Pride, thou canst not be 
More competently curst by me. 
Hence, sullen, self-tormenting, stupid sot ! 
Thy dullness damps our joys ; we want thee not.- 

Round the gay table side by side 
Social we sit ; there is no room for Pride : 
We cannot bear thy melancholy face : 
The company is full ; thou hast no place, 

Man, man, thou little groveling elf. 
Turn thine eyes inwards, view thyself; 
Draw out thy balance, hang it forth, 
AVeigh every atom thou art worth, 
Thy peerage, pedigree, estate, 
(The pains that Fortune took to make thee great) 
Toss them all in — stars, garters, strings, 
Heap up the rnass of tawdry things. 
The whole regalia of kings — 
Now watch the beam, and fairly say 
How much does all this trumpery weigh ? 
Give in the total ; let the scale be just. 
And own, proud mortal, own thou art but dust.''' 


J^''o, 8. 

" Oh sweet Humility can words impart 
How much I love thee, how divine thou art r 
Nurse us not only in our infant age, 
Conduct us still through each successive stage 
Of varying life, lead us from youth's gay prime 
To the last step of man's appointed time. 

Wit, Genius, Learning — What are these? 
The painter's colours or the poet's lays. 
If without thee they cannot please. 
If without thee we cannot praise ? 


Why do I call my lov'd Eliza fair ? 

Why do I doat upon her faded face ? 

Nor rosy health, nor blooming youth is there ; 

Humility bestows the angel grace. 

Where should a frail and trembling sinner He, 
How should a Christian live, how should he die, 
But in thine arms, conscious Humility ? 

*Twas in thy form the world's Redeemer came. 
And condescended to his human birth, 
With thee he met revilings, death and shame. 
Though angels hail'd him Lord of heav'n and earth.'' 

When the consequences resulting from the French revo- 
lution had involved us in a war, our country called upon its 
patriotic volunteers to turn out and assemble in its defence. 
I was still resident at Tunbridge Wells, and though not 
proprietor of a single foot of land in the county of Kent, yet 
I found myself in the hearts of my affectionate friends and 
fellow-subjects; they immediately volunteered to mount 
and form themselves under my command as a troop of yeo- 
man cavalry : I was diffident of my fitness to head them in 
that capacity, and declining their kind offer, recommended 
to them a neighbouring gentleman, who had served in the 
line, and held the rank of a field officer upon half pay. 
Men of their principles and spirit could not fail to be re- 
spectable, and they are now serving with credit to their cap- 
tain and themselves under the command of the Lord Vis- 
count Boyne, w^ho resides at Tunbride Wells, and toge- 
ther with the duties attendant on his commission, as com- 
mander of this respectable corps, executes the ofiice of a ma- 
gistrate for the county, not less amiable and honourable in 
his private character, than useful and patriotic m his pub- 
lic one. 

Some time after this, when certain leading gentlemen of 
the county began to make their tenders to government for 
raising corps of volunteer, infantry, I no longer hesitated 
to obey the wishes of the loyal and spirited young men, who 
offered to enix>ll themselves under my command,aJid finding 
them amount upon the muster to two full companies, proper- 
ly officeredjl reported them to our excellent LordLieutehant 
2 F '■- 


of the county, the Earl of Romney, and received His Ma- 
jesty's commission to command them with the rank of Major 
Commandant. I had instant proof that the zeal they had 
shewn in turning out in their king and country's cause did 
not evaporate in mere professions, for to their assiduity and 
aptitude, to their exemplary and correct observance of disci- 
pline, and strict obedience to their officers, the warmest tes- 
timony that I could give, would only do them justice. It 
was winter v/hen we first enrolled, and every evenmg after 
striking work till ten o'clock at night we were incessantly at 
the drill, and after we had been practised in the manual, 
sometimes turning out for the march by moon-light, some- 
times by torch-light. I had not a private that was not in the 
vigour of his youth, their natural carriage was erect and 
soldier-like, they fell readily into the attitude and step of a 
soldier on the march, for they were all artizans, mechanics, 
. or maufacturers of Tunbridge-ware, and I had not one, who 
did the work of a mere labouring peasant amongst them, 
v/hilst every officer submitted to the rule I laid down, and 
did the duty and learnt the exercise of a private in the line 
before he stood out and took command in his proper post. 

Our service being limited to the district of the counties of 
Kent, Sussex and Surry, no sooner were my companions fit 
for duty, than at their unanimous desire I reported them to 
the Secretary of State as ready and willing to serve in any 
part of England^ and this their loyal tender being laid before 
the King, His Majesty was graciously pleased to signify to 
us his royal approbation of our zeal through his Secretary of 

When the volunteer infantry was dismissed at the peace 
of Amiens, my men requested leave to hold their arms and 
serve without pay. At the same time they were pleased 
to honour me with the present of a sword by the hands of 
their Serjeant Major, to the purchase of which every private 
had contributed, and which they rendered infinitely dear and 
valuable to me by engraving on the hilt of it-—'' That it was 
a tribute of their esteem for their beloved commander." 

The renewal of hostilities has again put them under my 
command, and I trust the warmth and sincerity of my un- 
alterable attachment to them has now no need of appealing 
to professions. We know each other too well, and I am 
persuade^ that there is not qne amongst them, but will give 
Tiie credit for the truth wheti T declare, that as a father Io\' 3 


his children, so do I love them. We have now augmented 
our strength to four companies, and from the experience I 
have repeatedly had of their conduct, when upon perma- 
nent duty, I am convinced that if ever the necessity shall 
occur forcallint^ them out upon actual service, they will be 
found steady in the hour of trial, and perfectly resolved ne- 
ver to disgrace the character of Men of Kent, or tarnish that 
proud trophy, which they inscribe upon their colours, 

I humbly conceive, that if we take into our consideration 
the prodigious magnitude and extent of our volunteer sys- 
tem, we shall find it has been productive of more real use, 
and less incidental embarra>Tsment, to government, tiian 
could have been expected. We must make allowances for 
those who have been accustomed to look for the strength 
and resources of the nation only in its disposable force, if 
they are apt to undervalue the importance of its domestic 
army. But after the proofs which the capital and country 
have given of the spirit, discipline and good order of their 
volunteers, both cavalry and infantry, it is not wise or politic 
or liberal to disparage them as some have attempted to do ; 
there are indeed but few who have so done ; tiie wonder is 
that there are any ; but that a man should be so fond of his 
own dull jest as to risque it upon one, who has too much wit 
of his own not to spy out the want of it in others, is perfect- 
ly ridiculous ; and I am persuaded that a man of Colonel 
Birch's acknowledged merit as an officer, and established 
character for every good quality, that denotes and marks the 
gentleman, would infinitely rather be the object of such a 
pointless sarcasm than the author of it. 

The man, who lives to see many days, must look to en- 
counter many sorrows. My eldest son, who had married 
the eldest daughter of the late Earl of Buckinghamshire, 
and sister of the present, died in Tobago, where he went to 
qualify for a civil employment in that island ; and, some time 
after, death bereft me of my wife. Their virtues cannot 
need the ornament of description, audit has ever been my 
study to resign myself to the dispensations of Providence 
with all the fortitude I could summon, convinced that pa- 
; tience is no jnark of insensibility, nor the parade of lamen- 
tation any evidence of the sincerity or permanency of grief. 
My two surviving sons are happily and respectably mar- 
ried, and have families ; I have the care, under chancery, of 
live children, relicts of the late William Badcock, Esquin^ 


who married my second daughter, and died in my house at 
Tunbridge Wells, and I have the happiness to number 
nineteen grand-children, some of whom have already lived 
to crown my warmest wishes, and I see a promise in the 
rest, that flatters my most sanguine hopes. These are com- 
forts, that still adhere to me, and whilst I have the kindness 
of my children, the attachment of my friends and the can- 
dour of the public to look up to, I have ample cause to be 
thankful and contented. 

Charles the elder of my surviving sons, married the daugh- 
ter of General Mathew, a truly noble and benevolent gen- 
tleman, loved and honoured by all who know him, and who 
will be ever gratefully remembered by the island he has go- 
verned, and the army he has commanded. 

William, the youngest, married Eliza, daughter of Mrs. 
Burt, and, when commanding His Majesty's ship th^ La 
Pique, in the West Indies, being seized with the fever of 
the country at Saint Domingo, was sent home, as the only 
chance of saving him, and constrained to forfeit the com- 
mand of that very capital frigate. When the young and 
amiable Princess Amelia was residing at Worthing for the 
benefit of the sea and air, my son, then commander of the 
Fly sloop of war, kept guard upon that station, prepared to 
accommodate her Royal Highness with his boats or vessels 
in any excursions on the water, which she might be advised 
to take. I came to worthing, whilst he was there upon du- 
ty, and, was permitted to pay my homage to the Princess. 
It was impossible to contemplate youth and beauty suffering 
tortures with such exemplary patience, and not experience 
those sensations of respect and pity, which such a contem- 
plation naturally must inspire. When my daughter-in-law, 
Lady Albinia Cumberland, took her turn of duty as lady of 
the bed chamber, I took the liberty through her hand to of- 
fer the few stanzas which are here inserted 

" How long, just heav'n, shall Britain's royal maid 
With meek submission these sad hours sustain ? 
How long shall innocence invoke thine aid. 
And youth and beauty press the couch of pain ? 

Enough, dread pow'r, unless it be decreed, 
To reconcile thee in these evil times, 
That one poor victim for the v/hole should bleed. 
And by her sufferings expiate our crimes. 


And sure I am, in thine oiTended sight 
If nothing but perfection can atone ; 
No wonder thy chastising rod should light 
On one, who hath no errors of her own. 

But spare, Ah spare this object of our love, 
For whose dear sake we're punished in our fears i 
Send down thy saving angel from above, 
And quench her pangs in our repentant tears. 

Yes, they shall win compassion from the skies, 
Man cannot be more merciful than heav'n : 
Thy pangs, sweet saint, thy patience shall suffice, 
And at thy suit our faults shall be forgiv'n. 

And if, whilst every subject's heart is rack'd, 
Our pious King presents a father's plea. 
What heav'n with justice might from us extract 
Heaven's mercy will remit to him and thee. 

Nor will I doubt if thy dear mother's prayer, 
Breath'd from her sorrowing bosom, shall prevail ; 
The sighs of angels are not lost in air, 
Can then Amelia's sister-suitors fail ? 

Come then, heart-healing cherub, from on high, 

Fresh dipt in dew of Paradise descend. 

Bring tender sympathy with tearful eye, 

Bring Hope, bring Health, and let the Muse attend. 

Stretch'd on her couch, beside the silent strand, 
Whose skirts old Ocean's briny billows lave, 
From the extremest verge of British land 
The languid fair-one eyes the refluent wave. 

Was ever suffering purity more meek. 
Was ever virgin martyr more resign'd ? 
Mark how the smile, yet gleaming on her cheek, 
Bespeaks her gentlest, best of human kind. 

Around her stand the sympathizing friends, 
Whose charge it is her weary hours to cheer, 


Each female breast the struggling sigh distends. 
Whilst the brave veteran drops the secret tear. 

And he, whose sacred trust it is to guard 
The fciirest freight that ocean ever bore. 
He shall receive his loyalty's reward 
In laurels won on Gallia's hostile shore. 

Now let thy wings their healing balm distil 
Celestial cherub, messenger of peace ! 
'Tis done : the tortur'd nerve obeys thy will, 
And with thy touch its angry throbbings cease 

Light as a sylph, I see the blooming maid 
Spring from her couch — Oh may my votive strain 
Confirmed evince, that neither I have pray'd. 
Nor thou, my Muse, hast prophesied in vain." 

I have now completed what occurred to me to say of ar 
old man, whose writings have been very various, whose in 
tentions have been always honest, and whose labours hav( 
experienced little intermission. I put the first pen to these 
Memoirs at the very close of the last year, and I conclude 
them in the middle of September. I had promised myseli 
to the undertaking, and I was to proportion my dispatch tc 
the measure of the time, upon which without presumptior 
I might venture to reckon. As many of my readers, as 
may have staggered under the weight of such a bulky load, 
will have a fellow feeling for me, even though I shall have 
sunk under it : but if I have borne it through with tolerable 
success, and given an interest to some of the many pages, 
w^hich this volume numbers, I hope they will not mark with 
too severe a censure errors and inaccuracies 

Quas aut incuriafudit^ 
Aut humana fiarum cavit natura^ 

I have through life sincerely done my best according to 
my abilities for the edification of my fellow creatures and 
the honour of my God. I pretend to nothing, w^hereby to 
be commended or distinguished above others of my rate, 
save only for that good will and human kindness, which de- 
scended to me from my ancestors, and cannot properly de- 


serve the name of virtue, as they cost no struggle for the 
exertion of them. I am not exempt from anger, but I never 
let it fasten on me till it harden into malice or revenge. I 
cannot pass myself off for better than I have been where I 
am about to go, and if before my departure I were now to 
take credit for merits which I have not, the few, which I 
have, would be all too few to atone for the deceit ; but I am 
thoroughly weary of the task of talking of myself, and it is 
with unfeigned joy I welcome the conclusion of my task 
and my talk. 

I have now only to devote this last page of my book (as 
it is probable I shall the last hour of my life) to the acknow- 
ledgments, which are due to that beloved daughter, who 
ever since the death of her mother has been my inseparable 
companion, and the solace of my age 

Extremum hunc^ Arethusa^ mihi concede laborem. 

Frances Marrianne, the youngest of my children, was 
born to me in Spain. After many long and dangerous re- 
turns of illness, it has.pleased Providence to preserve to me 
the blessing of her life and health. In her filial affection I 
find all the comforts, that the best of friends can give me ; 
from her talents and understanding I derive all the enjoy- 
ments, that the most pleasing of companions can communi- 
cate. As she has witnessed every step in the progress of 
this laborious work, and cheered every hour of relaxation 
whilst I have rested from it, if these pages, which contain 
the Memoirs of her father's life, may happily obtain some 
notice from tl^e world, by whomsoever they are read, by 
the same this testimony of my devotion to the best of daugh- 
ters shall be also read ; and, if it be the will of God, that 
here my literary labours are to cease for ever, I can say to 
the world for the last time, that this is a dedication^ in which 
no flattery is mixed, a tribute to virtue, in which fiction has 
no part, and an effusion of gr..titude, esteem and love, which 
flows sincerely from a father's v.eait. 



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